Detection of oxazolidinone and phenicol resistant enterococcal isolates from duck feces and carcasses.


Bacterial Disease Division, Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency, 177 Hyeksin 8-ro, Gimcheon-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do 39660, Republic of Korea. Electronic address: [Email]


The heavy use or abuse of antimicrobials in food animals has caused an increase in antimicrobial resistance in enterococci of animal origin, which could get transmitted to those of human origin via the food chain. Since duck meat consumption has been on the rise in Korea, we conducted this study to provide information about the antimicrobial resistance of the enterococci obtained from healthy ducks and their carcasses. A total of 82 Enterococcus faecium and 174 E. faecalis isolated from duck fecal and carcass samples were investigated for antimicrobial resistance to 16 agents, using broth dilution method, and were further characterized using molecular methods. Most of E. faecium (84.1%) and E. faecalis (87.9%) isolates were resistant to one or more antimicrobials. Multi-drug resistant (MDR) isolates were observed in both E. faecium (40.2%) and E. faecalis (33.9%) with high frequencies. High rate of resistance was observed for tetracycline, ciprofloxacin, chloramphenicol, and erythromycin in both E. faecium and E. faecalis. Resistance to gentamicin, vancomycin, and daptomycin, in both E. faecium and E. faecalis, was, if at all, very rare. However, linezolid resistance was observed in nine E. faecium (11.0%) and one E. faecalis (0.6%). All, but one, Linezolid resistant (LR) isolates were also resistant to chloramphenicol and florfenicol. The novel transferable oxazolidinone and phenicol resistant gene, optrA, was found in six E. faecium isolates. All of them co-carried phenicol exporter gene fexA. None of the LR isolates had mutation in the 23S ribosomal RNA and in the ribosomal protein L3. Six LR E. faecium isolates had Asn130Lys mutation in the ribosomal protein L4, of which five also carried optrA gene. None of the isolates carried the multi-resistance gene cfr. Transfer of oxazolidinone and phenicol resistance was observed in five among the 10 LR isolates; two of them had optrA and fexA genes. Multi-drug resistant Enterococcus that also carried the resistance gene to a last-resort antimicrobial is a major concern for public health. Thus, to prevent the introduction of last-resort antimicrobial resistance into food chain, continuous surveillance of antimicrobial resistance in duck is imperative.



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