1 Division of Microbiology and Risk Assessment, National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark2 National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark3 unknown
Seven years after the ban of avoparcin, VREF could still be isolated within sectors of the UK broiler industry. The aim of this study was to assess whether there is a carryover of VREF between consecutive flocks of birds, to conduct a preliminary investigation of possible routes of entry of VREF into broiler houses and to follow the dynamics of VREF shed by growing birds. A series of nine visits were made to two of six houses on a conventional broiler farm. A total of 343 vanA VREF were recovered from environmental (95/843) and faecal (248/416) samples. Significant differences were observed in the carryover of VREF between pre- and postcohort postcleaning and disinfection visits (RR 0.57, P=0.006). Ninety-nine percent of the VREF isolates were resistant to more than five antimicrobials, with 42 isolates (n=49) positive for erm(B) and 32 (n=40) for vat(E). Pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) typing identified 50 PFGE types within 15 different PFGE clusters of 90% similarity, demonstrating a high level of genetic diversity within VREF populations from epidemiologically related broiler flocks and broiler houses. Further characterization of Tn1546 from different clones showed a low diversity of Tn-types, suggesting horizontal transfer of resistance determinants between different genetic clones. Thus, this study does not only show the persistence of VREF but also of multi-drug resistant lineages of VREF.
F E M S Microbiology Letters, 2007, Vol 275, Issue 2, p. 319-325