Impact of colistin administered before or after inoculation on the transmission of a mcr-1 colistin-resistant Escherichia coli strain between pigs.


ANSES, Laboratoire de Ploufragan-Plouzané-Niort, Ploufragan, France; Université Bretagne Loire, France. Electronic address: [Email]


Colistin resistance associated with plasmidic resistance genes is a serious public health issue. We aimed at studying the transmission of an mcr-1 colistin- and rifampicin-resistant Escherichia coli strain between inoculated pigs and sentinels in different controlled conditions. Three groups of four pigs were bred in separated animal rooms and inoculated on Day 0 (D0). In each inoculated group, six contact pigs were introduced on D2. The first inoculated-and-contact group was left untreated. The ten pigs in the second inoculated-and-contact group received colistin (100 000 IU/kg) before inoculation or contact (D-7 to D-5), simulating prophylactic administration. Pigs in the third inoculated-and-contact group were treated just after inoculation or before transfer (D0 to D2), simulating metaphylactic administration. Faecal samples were regularly collected and segments of intestinal tracts were obtained at necropsy, on D20-D22. Samples were cultured on rifampicin-supplemented media, and PCR was used to detect the mcr-1 gene. The kinetics of infection, based on culture results, were analysed using an SIR model. The inoculated strain was detected in all inoculated and contact pigs. The SIR model showed that one infected pig could transmit the resistant bacteria to one susceptible individual in less than 3 h on average. Prophylactic administration significantly enhanced the transmission rate and resulted in more samples containing the mcr-1 resistance gene at necropsy. No effect of metaphylactic administration could be detected on the transmission rate, nor on the carriage of the resistant strain. Our study confirms that colistin should not be used in a prophylactic manner.



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