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The dynamics of the antibiotic resistome in the feces of weaned pigs following administration of oxytetracycline

In this study, shotgun metagenomics was employed to monitor the effect of oxytetracycline, administered at a therapeutic dose, on the dynamics of the microbiota and resistome in the feces of weaned pigs.

Friday 5 July 2019 (14 days ago)
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Sixteen weaning pigs were assigned to one of two treatments including standard starter diet for 21 days or antibiotic-supplemented diet (10 g oxytetracycline/100 kg body weight/day) for 7 days, followed by 14 days of standard starter diet. Feces were collected from the pigs on days 0, 8, and 21 for microbiota and resistome profiling.

Pigs receiving oxytetracycline exhibited a significantly greater richness and diversity of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) than the control pigs. Antibiotic administration significantly enriched the abundances of 41 ARGs, mainly from the tetracycline, betalactam and multidrug resistance classes. Compositional shifts in the bacterial communities were observed following 7 days of antibiotic adminstration, with the medicated pigs showing an increase in Escherichia (Proteobacteria) and Prevotella (Bacteroidetes) populations compared with the nonmedicated pigs. This might be explained by the potential of these taxa to carry ARGs that may be transferred to other susceptible bacteria in the densely populated gut environment.

These findings will help in the optimization of therapeutic schemes involving antibiotic usage in swine production.

Mahdi Ghanbari, Viviana Klose, Fiona Crispie & Paul D. Cotter. The dynamics of the antibiotic resistome in the feces of freshly weaned pigs following therapeutic administration of oxytetracycline. Scientific Reports, Volume 9, Article number: 4062 (2019)

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