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Impact of hospitalization and antimicrobial drug administration on antimicrobial susceptibility patterns of commensal Escherichia coli isolated from the feces of horses

Magdalena Dunowska LW, PhD1, Paul S. Morley DVM, PhD, DACVIM2, Josie L. Traub-Dargatz DVM, MS, DACVIM3, Doreene R. Hyatt PhD4, and David A. Dargatz DVM, PhD, DACT5,6
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  • 1 Animal Population Health Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
  • | 2 Animal Population Health Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
  • | 3 Animal Population Health Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
  • | 4 Animal Population Health Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
  • | 5 Animal Population Health Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
  • | 6 USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services, Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health, 2150 Centre Ave, Building B, Fort Collis, CO 80526.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate antimicrobial susceptibility of commensal Escherichia coli strains isolated from the feces of horses and investigate relationships with hospitalization and antimicrobial drug (AMD) administration.

Design—Observational study.

Animals—68 hospitalized horses that had been treated with AMDs for at least 3 days (HOSP–AMD group), 63 hospitalized horses that had not received AMDs for at least 4 days (HOSP–NOAMD group), and 85 healthy horses that had not been hospitalized or treated with AMDs (community group).

Procedures—Fecal samples were submitted for bacterial culture, and up to 3 E coli colonies were recovered from each sample. Antimicrobial susceptibility of 724 isolates was evaluated. Prevalence of resistance was compared among groups by use of log-linear modeling.

Results—For 12 of the 15 AMDs evaluated, prevalence of antimicrobial resistance differed significantly among groups, with prevalence being highest among isolates from the HOSP–AMD group and lowest among isolates from the community group. Isolates recovered from the HOSP–AMD and HOSP–NOAMD groups were also significantly more likely to be resistant to multiple AMDs. Resistance to sulfamethoxazole and resistance to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole were most common, followed by resistance to gentamicin and resistance to tetracycline. Use of a potentiated sulfonamide, aminoglycosides, cephalosporins, or metronidazole was positively associated with resistance to 1 or more AMDs, but use of penicillins was not associated with increased risk of resistance to AMDs.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that both hospitalization and AMD administration were associated with prevalence of antimicrobial resistance among E coli strains isolated from the feces of horses.

Contributor Notes

Supported by the Animal Population Health Institute at Colorado State University through a grant from the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service; the College Research Council at the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences; and the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Address correspondence to Dr. Morley.