Dynamics of CMY-2 producing E. coli in a broiler parent flock

Dame-Korevaar, Anita; Fischer, Egil A.J.; Stegeman, Arjan; Mevius, Dik; Essen-Zandbergen, Alieda van; Velkers, Francisca; Goot, Jeanet van der


Extended-spectrum β-lactamase and plasmid mediated AmpC β-lactamase (ESBL/pAmpC) producing bacteria are resistant to Extended Spectrum Cephalosporins (ESC), and are present in all levels of the broiler production chain. We determined the prevalence, concentration, and persistence of ESBL/pAmpC-Escherichia coli in a broiler parent flock during the rearing and laying period. One-day old chickens were housed in four separate pens. Until week 33 no antibiotics or coccidiostatics were used. During rearing 57 chickens in each pen (n = 228), and in the laying period two groups of 33 chickens were individually sampled (n = 66). Environmental samples were taken from week 16 onwards. ESBL/pAmpC-E. coli presence was determined by selective culturing. In the samples of week 16–19 the concentration of ESBL/pAmpC-E. coli was determined. All ESC-resistant isolates found were positive for pAmpC gene blaCMY-2 located on IncA/C plasmids, in several E. coli MLST types. CMY-2-E. coli prevalence decreased from 91% (95%CI 86–94%) at day 7 (week 1) to 0% (95%CI 0–5%) in week 21. However, CMY-2-E. coli remained present in the environmental samples during the whole study. CMY-2-E. coli concentration varied between detection limit (<10^3) and 2·10^4 cfu/g faeces. The sharp reduction of CMY-2-E. coli in this broiler parent flock in absence of antibiotics suggests a selective disadvantage of blaCMY-2 on IncA/C plasmids on animal level. The underlying mechanism should be studied further as this may provide new insights on how to reduce ESBL/pAmpC prevalence and transmission in the broiler production chain.