Objective—To evaluate the impact of oxytetracycline exposure on horizontal transfer of an antimicrobial resistance plasmid.
Sample—Populations of Salmonella enterica subsp enterica serovar Typhimurium and Escherichia coli.
Procedures—Mixed populations of plasmid donor (Salmonella Typhimurium) and recipient (E coli) bacteria were assigned to 1 of 2 simulated oxytetracycline dosing regimens (high peak concentration-short elimination half-life [HC-SHL] or low peak concentration—long elimination half-life [LC-LHL]) or served as untreated control replicates. Donor, recipient, and transconjugant (E coli that acquired the plasmid) bacteria populations were quantified at 12, 24, and 36 hours after oxytetracycline administration by use of culture on selective bacterial growth media.
Results—The ratio of transconjugant to donor bacteria was significantly reduced in the oxytetracycline-exposed replicates, compared with the ratio for the control replicates, at 12 hours. At 24 and 36 hours, results for the HC-SHL regimens were not significantly different from results for the respective control replicates, and results for the LC-LHL regimens also were not significantly different from results for the respective control replicates. The oxytetracycline concentration at these time points (12 hours in the HC-SHL regimen and all 3 time points in the LC-LHL regimen) were in excess of the minimum inhibitory concentration of the recipient bacteria.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Transfer of antimicrobial resistance plasmids may be suppressed in vitro by oxytetracycline exposure at concentrations greater than the minimum inhibitory concentration of the recipient bacteria.