Antibiotic resistance genes in multidrug-resistant Enterococcus spp. and Streptococcus spp. recovered from the indoor air of a large-scale swine-feeding operation

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AimsIn this study, multidrug-resistant bacteria previously recovered from the indoor air of a large-scale swine-feeding operation were tested for the presence of five macrolide, lincosamide and streptogramin (MLS) resistance genes and five tetracycline (tet) resistance genes.Methods and ResultsEnterococcus spp. (n = 16) and Streptococcus spp. (n =16) were analysed using DNA–DNA hybridization, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and oligoprobing of PCR products. All isolates carried multiple MLS resistance genes, while 50% of the Enterococcus spp. and 44% of the Streptococcus spp. also carried multiple tet resistance genes. All Enterococcus spp. carried erm(A) and erm(B), 69% carried erm(F), 44% carried mef(A), 75% carried tet(M), 69% carried tet(L) and 19% carried tet(K). All Streptococcus spp. carried erm(B), 94% carried erm(F), 75% carried erm(A), 38% carried mef(A), 50% carried tet(M), 81% carried tet(L) and 13% carried tet(K).ConclusionsMultidrug resistance among airborne bacteria recovered from a swine operation is encoded by multiple MLS and tet resistance genes. These are the first data regarding resistance gene carriage among airborne bacteria from swine-feeding operations.Significance and Impact of the StudyThe high prevalence of multiple resistance genes reported here suggests that airborne Gram-positive bacteria from swine operations may be important contributors to environmental reservoirs of resistance genes.

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