Table_9_Prevalence and distribution of extended-spectrum β-lactamase and AmpC-producing Escherichia coli in two New Zealand dairy farm environments.DOCX
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global threat to human and animal health, with the misuse and overuse of antimicrobials being suggested as the main driver of resistance. In a global context, New Zealand (NZ) is a relatively low user of antimicrobials in animal production. However, the role antimicrobial usage on pasture-based dairy farms, such as those in NZ, plays in driving the spread of AMR within the dairy farm environment remains equivocal. Culture-based methods were used to determine the prevalence and distribution of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)- and AmpC-producing Escherichia coli from farm environmental samples collected over a 15-month period from two NZ dairy farms with contrasting management practices. Whole genome sequencing was utilised to understand the genomic epidemiology and antimicrobial resistance gene repertoire of a subset of third-generation cephalosporin resistant E. coli isolated in this study. There was a low sample level prevalence of ESBL-producing E. coli (faeces 1.7%; farm dairy effluent, 6.7% from Dairy 4 and none from Dairy 1) but AmpC-producing E. coli were more frequently isolated across both farms (faeces 3.3% and 8.3%; farm dairy effluent 38.4%, 6.7% from Dairy 1 and Dairy 4, respectively). ESBL- and AmpC-producing E. coli were isolated from faeces and farm dairy effluent in spring and summer, during months with varying levels of antimicrobial use, but no ESBL- or AmpC-producing E. coli were isolated from bulk tank milk or soil from recently grazed paddocks. Hybrid assemblies using short- and long-read sequence data from a subset of ESBL- and AmpC-producing E. coli enabled the assembly and annotation of nine plasmids from six E. coli, including one plasmid co-harbouring 12 antimicrobial resistance genes. ESBL-producing E. coli were infrequently identified from faeces and farm dairy effluent on the two NZ dairy farms, suggesting they are present at a low prevalence on these farms. Plasmids harbouring several antimicrobial resistance genes were identified, and bacteria carrying such plasmids are a concern for both animal and public health. AMR is a burden for human, animal and environmental health and requires a holistic “One Health” approach to address.