Antibiotics are widely used in animal farming to treat and prevent animal diseases, and promote growth. Tien Giang province in Vietnam is home to 1.67 million people and 5.96 million chickens. A study of household and small farms showed frequent antimicrobial usage associated with a high prevalence of resistance to the most commonly used antimicrobials. The authots conclude that, given the weak biocontainment, the high prevalence of resistant E. coli could represent a risk to the environment and to humans.
The study population consisted of 208 chicken farms, divided into two groups according to the number of chickens per farm: ≥10–200 (‘household’ farms) and 200–2000 (‘small’ farms. Isolates of Escherichia coli from chickens were tested for their susceptibility to 11 antimicrobials and for ESBL production. E. coli resistant to gentamicin, ciprofloxacin and third-generation cephalosporins was detected on 96.6%, 91.8% and 37.0% of the farms, respectively. Of the 895 E. coli isolates, resistance to gentamicin, ciprofloxacin and third-generation cephalosporins was also detected in 19.9%, 32.5% and 3.2% of the isolates, respectively.
The study can be found at: J Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 2015, doi:10.1093/jac/dkv053