Strategies to Overcome Antimicrobial Resistance in Turkey Production

A combination of proper nutrition, biosecurity, hygiene, genetics, health and good farm management practices may contribute to reduction of antimicrobial use on farms.

Acid based feed additives may contribute to reduction of the prevalence of antimicrobial resistant E. coli. In the presented study with broilers, treatment with enrofloxacin increased (P ≤ 0.05) the number of E. coli resistant to ciprofloxacin, streptomycin, sulfamethoxazole and tetracycline in the cecum. Supplementation with an acid-based feed additive (FA) contributed to better growth performance and a decrease in ampicillin- and tetracyclin-resistant E. coli in the cecum of broilers compared to control and antibiotic enrofloxacin group (AB).

ANTIMICROBIAL USE IN TURKEY

The application of antibiotics for the treatment of disease, disease prevention and growth promotion in food-producing animals provides favorable conditions for the selection, persistence and spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and their resistance determinants at the farm level (Burow, et al., 2014; da Costa, et al., 2011; Diarra, et al., 2007; Diarrassouba, et al., 2007; Furtula, et al., 2010; Miranda, et al., 2008). Increasing antibiotic resistance is a major public health concern.

Quantitative national data on antimicrobial use in turkey is barely available. However, there are possibilities to reduce the use as recent data on antimicrobial use in poultry from Austria show. The amount of consumed antimicrobials in turkey production has been almost halved since 2013.

Figure 1. Use of antimicrobials in poultry in Austria from 2013 to 2016, tonnes

Figure 1. Use of antimicrobials in poultry in Austria from 2013 to 2016, tonnes

Source: QGV antibiotic monitoring report 2017

OCCURRENCE OF ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE IN TURKEY

Any kind of antibiotic use in people, animals or plants can promote the development and spread of antibiotic resistance (WHO Regional Office for Europe, 2011). The increase in antibiotic resistance is a global concern for human and animal health. Resistant microorganisms can move between food-producing animals and humans by direct contact, through the food chain or in the environment. Poultry is one of the world´s fastest growing sources of meat production. The prevalence of antimicrobial resistant bacteria in turkey vary a lot depending on the country. Figure 2 shows that 3.4% E. coli in Sweden were resistant to ciprofloxacin and in Spain this number was 86%.

Figure 2. Spatial distribution of ciprofloxacin resistance among indicator E. coli from fattening turkeys in 2014

Figure 2. Spatial distribution of ciprofloxacin resistance among indicator E. coli from fattening turkeys in 2014

Source: The European Union summary report on antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic and indicator bacteria from humans, animals and food in 2014

Figure 3. Frequency distribution of E. coli isolates completely susceptible and resistant to one to 12 antimicrobials in fattening turkeys in European countries, 2014

Figure 3. Frequency distribution of E. coli isolates completely susceptible and resistant to one to 12 antimicrobials in fattening turkeys in European countries, 2014

Source: The European Union summary report on antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic and indicator bacteria from humans, animals and food in 2014

Also the number of multi resistant E. coli is high (Figure 3), in France, Poland, UK, Italy, Hungary, Portugal, Spain and Romania. Less than 20% of tested E. coli were susceptible to antimicrobials. In fattening turkeys, E. coli with three multi resistant patterns (including a common core pattern of resistance to ampicillin, ciprofloxacin/nalidixic acid and tetracyclines) accounted for approximately 40.0% of the total number of multiresistant E.coli isolates for which data were available (EFSA and ECDC, 2016).

REDUCTION OF ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE

Reduction of antimicrobial use is the key point in order to achieve lower resistance rates of bacteria. An approach that combines proper nutrition, biosecurity, hygiene, genetics, health and good farm management practices is needed. Innovative feed additives can play a key role.

For example acid-based products would keep the gut environment hostile to Gram-negative bacteria. A study with broilers was evaluating the effect of an acid-based feed additive, as well as fluoroquinolone antibiotics, on the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant E. coli. To study the emergence of antibiotic resistance in Gram-negative bacteria, E. coli are widely accepted as indicator bacteria. A total of 480 broiler chickens (Ross 308) were randomly assigned to three treatments (8 replicates per group): a control group receiving a basal diet; a group receiving a feed additive (FA) based on formic acid, acetic acid and propionic acid; and an antibiotic enrofloxacin (AB) group given the same diet, but supplemented with enrofloxacin in water. A pooled fecal sample of one-day-old chicks was collected upon arrival at the experimental farm. On day 17 and day 38 of the trial, cecal samples from each of the eight replicate pens were taken, and the count of E. coli and antibiotic-resistant E.coli was determined.

Table 4. E. coli count in caecum on day 38, log CFU/g

ControlFAABP-value
E. coli8.25±0.208.24±0.128.46±0.160.59
Ampicillin-resistant E. coli7.08±0.31a5.28±0.41b6.91±0.31a0.002
Cefotaxime-resistant E. coli 3.09±0.87a1.04±0.52ab0.24±0.24b0.018
Ciprofloxacin-resistant E. coli5.83±0.28b5.68±0.12b7.36±0.33a0.001
Streptomycin-resistant E. coli5.42±0.235.05±0.276.12±400.07
Sulfomethoxazole-resistant E. coli5.62±0.36ab5.16±0.28b6.48±0.34a0.034
Tetracycline-resistant E. coli6.18±0.27a5.28±0.23b6.91±0.35a0.003
ESBL-producing E. coli3.09±0.91a1.15±0.58ab0.30±0.20b0.007

FA - feed additive based on organic acids; AB – enrofloxacin; amount of antimicrobial in the media: ampicillin 32 µg/ml, cefotaxim 4 µg/ml, ciprofloxacin 4 µg/ml, streptomycin 64 µg/ml, sulfamethoxazol 512 µg/ml and tetracycline 16 µg/ml; a,bmeans in the same row with no common superscripts are significantly different (P ≤ 0.05); means represent 8 pens per diet (3 birds/pen); ± standard error.

The results of the study showed a high prevalence of antibiotic-resistant E. coli in one-day-old chicks. Supplementation of the diet with FA and treatment of broilers with AB did not have a significant influence on the total number of E. coli in the cecal content on day 17 and day 38 of the trial. Supplementation with FA contributed to better growth performance and to a significant decrease (P ≤ 0.05) in E. coli resistant to ampicillin and tetracycline compared to the control and AB groups, as well as to a decrease (P ≤ 0.05) in sulfamethoxazole and ciprofloxacin-resistant E. coli compared to the AB group at the end of the trial. Treatment with AB increased (P ≤ 0.05) the average daily weight compared to the control group and increased (P ≤ 0.05) the number of E. coli resistant to ciprofloxacin, streptomycin, sulfamethoxazole and tetracycline.

CONCLUSION

Reduction of antimicrobial use is the main tool in order to reduce the resistance rates of bacteria. Combination of proper nutrition, biosecurity, hygiene, genetics, health and good farm management practices may contribute to reduction of antimicrobial use on farms. Acid based feed additives may contribute to reduction of the prevalence of resistant E. coli.

REFERENCES

Burow, E., C. Simoneit, B. A. Tenhagen, and A. Käsbohrer. 2014. Oral antimicrobials increase antimicrobial resistance in porcine E. coli – A systematic review. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 113:364-375. doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2013.12.007

Da Costa, P. M., M. Oliveira, B. Ramos, and F. Bernardo. 2011. The impact of antimicrobial use in broiler chickens on growth performance and on the occurrence of antimicrobial-resistant Escherichia coli. Livestock Science 136:262-269. doi 10.1016/j.livsci.2010.09.016

Diarra, M. S., F. G. Silversides, F. Diarrassouba, J. Pritchard, L. Masson, R. Brousseau, C. Bonnet, P. Delaquis, S. Bach, B. J. Skura, and E. Topp. 2007. Impact of feed supplementation with antimicrobial agents on growth performance of broiler chickens, Clostridium perfringens and enterococcus counts, and antibiotic resistance phenotypes and distribution of antimicrobial resistance determinants in Escherichia coli isolates. Applied and environmental microbiology 73:6566-6576. doi 10.1128/AEM.01086-07

Diarrassouba, F., M. S. Diarra, S. Bach, P. Delaquis, J. Pritcrard, E. Topp, and B. J. Skura. 2007. Antibiotic resistance and virulence genes in commensal Escherichia coli and Salmonella isolates from commercial broiler chicken farmst. J. Food Prot. 70:1316-1327.

EFSA (European Food Safety Authority), and ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control). 2016. The European Union summary report on antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic and indicator bacteria from humans, animals and food in 2014. EFSA Journal 14. doi 10.2903/j.efsa.2016.4380

Furtula, V., E. G. Farrell, F. Diarrassouba, H. Rempel, J. Pritchard, and M. S. Diarra. 2010. Veterinary pharmaceuticals and antibiotic resistance of Escherichia coli isolates in poultry litter from commercial farms and controlled feeding trials. Poult Sci 89:180-188. doi 10.3382/ps.2009-00198

Miranda, J. M., M. Guarddon, B. I. Vázquez, C. A. Fente, J. Barros-Velázquez, A. Cepeda, and C. M. Franco. 2008. Antimicrobial resistance in Enterobacteriaceae strains isolated from organic chicken, conventional chicken and conventional turkey meat: A comparative survey. Food Control 19:412-416. doi 10.1016/j.foodcont.2007.05.002

WHO Regional Office for Europe 2011. Tackling antibiotic resistance from a food safety perspective in Europe. docplayer.net/21787145-Tackling-antibiotic-resistance-from-a-food-safety-perspective-in-europe.html. Accessed 02.02.18

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