Longitudinal study of antimicrobial resistance among Escherichia coli isolates from integrated multisite cohorts of humans and swine. Academic Article uri icon


  • In a 3-year longitudinal study, we examined the relationship between the seasonal prevalence of antimicrobial-resistant (AR) Escherichia coli isolates from human wastewater and swine fecal samples and the following risk factors: the host species, the production type (swine), the vocation (human swine workers, non-swine workers, and slaughter plant workers), and the season, in a multisite, vertically integrated swine and human population representative of a closed agri-food system. Human and swine E. coli (n = 4,048 and 3,429, respectively) isolates from wastewater and fecal samples were tested for antimicrobial susceptibility, using the Sensititre broth microdilution system. There were significant (P < 0.05) differences among AR E. coli prevalence levels of (i) the host species, in which swine isolates were at higher risk for resistance to tetracycline, kanamycin, ceftiofur, gentamicin, streptomycin, chloramphenicol, sulfisoxazole, and ampicillin; (ii) the swine production group, in which purchased boars, nursery piglets, and breeding boars isolates had a higher risk of resistance to streptomycin and tetracycline; and iii) the vocation cohorts, in which swine worker cohort isolates exhibited lower sulfisoxazole and cefoxitin prevalence than the non-swine worker cohorts, while the slaughter plant worker cohort isolates exhibited elevated cefoxitin prevalence compared to that of non-swine workers. While a high variability was observed among seasonal samples over the 3-year period, no significant temporal trends were apparent. There were significant differences in the prevalence levels of multidrug-resistant isolates between host species, with swine at a higher risk of carrying multidrug-resistant strains than humans. Considering vocation, slaughter plant workers were at higher risk of exhibiting multidrug-resistant E. coli than non-swine workers.

published proceedings

  • Appl Environ Microbiol

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Alali, W. Q., Scott, H. M., Harvey, R. B., Norby, B., Lawhorn, D. B., & Pillai, S. D.

citation count

  • 33

complete list of authors

  • Alali, WQ||Scott, HM||Harvey, RB||Norby, B||Lawhorn, DB||Pillai, SD

publication date

  • June 2008