A total of 100 S. hyicus strains isolated from healthy piglets and piglets with exudative epidermitis originating from 100 different herds was examined for drug-resistance and prevalence of plasmids. Resistance to macrolide/lincosamide antibiotics could be related to plasmids in 55 (93%) of the 59 resistant strains: A plasmid of 2.4 kb mediating resistance to macrolides and lincosamides was observed in 25 strains, and a plasmid of 11.5 kb mediating resistance to both macrolides/lincosamides and tetracycline was observed in 30 strains. A plasmid with a molecular weight of 4.5 kb was shown by curing experiments to be associated with resistance to tetracycline in 12 strains. All together, 47 strains were resistant to tetracycline. In 42 (89%) of these strains tetracycline-resistance was found to be encoded by plasmids. Fifty six strains were resistant to streptomycin, and resistance was associated with the presence of a 4.4 kb plasmid in 17 strains studied. Resistance to penicillin, observed in 44 strains, and resistance to kanamycin, observed in 15 strains, could not be related to plasmids in any of these strains. The 11.5 kb plasmid was observed in 39% of the strains isolated from piglets with EE, and in 7% of the strains isolated from healthy piglets. Despite its higher prevalence in strains from piglets with EE, the 11.5 kb plasmid could not be shown to encode production of capsule or exfoliative substances: factors which might play a role in the development of exudative epidermitis in piglets.
Veterinary Microbiology, 1993, Vol 34, Issue 4, p. 363-372