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Low-level antimicrobial resistance of Enterobacteriaceae isolated from the nares of pig-exposed persons

  • J. FISCHER (a1), K. HILLE (a2), A. MELLMANN (a1), F. SCHAUMBURG (a3), L. KREIENBROCK (a2) and R. KÖCK (a1) (a3)...

Extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-E) have recently emerged in livestock and humans. Therefore, this study assessed the carriage of Enterobacteriaceae in the anterior nares and associated antimicrobial resistance in pig-exposed persons. Nasal swabs were enriched in non-selective broth and then plated on MacConkey and ESBL-selective agars. Species was confirmed by matrix-assisted laser-desorption ionization–time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-ToF MS). Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed according to European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST) guidelines. Of 114 pig-exposed persons tested, Enterobacteriaceae were detected in the nares of 76 (66·7%) participants. The predominant species were Proteus mirabilis (n = 17, 14·9%), Pantoea agglomerans (n = 13, 11·4%), Morganella morganii (n = 9, 7·9%), Citrobacter koseri (n = 9, 7·9%), Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli and Proteus vulgaris (each n = 8, 7·0%). ESBL-E were not detected. Of all isolates tested, 3·4% were resistant against ciprofloxacin, 2·3% against gentamicin, 23·9% against trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and 44·3% against tigecycline. Despite the high prevalence of ESBL-E in livestock, pig-exposed persons did not carry ESBL-E in their nares. This finding is important, because colonization of the nasal reservoir might cause endogenous infections or facilitate transmission of ESBL-E in the general population.

Corresponding author
* Author for correspondence: Dr R. Köck, Institute of Medical Microbiology, University Hospital Münster, Domagkstr. 10, 48149 Münster, Germany. (Email:
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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
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