Removal of antimicrobial prophylaxis and its effect on swine carriage of antimicrobial-resistant coliforms

Fernanda Loayza-Villa, Alejandro Torres, Lixin Zhang, Gabriel Trueba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The use of antimicrobials in the food animal industry has caused an increased prevalence of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria and antimicrobial resistance genes, which can be transferred to the microbiota of humans through the food chain or the environment. To reduce the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance, restrictions on antimicrobial use in food animals have been implemented in different countries. We investigated the impact of an antimicrobial restriction intervention during two generations of pigs. Fecal samples were collected in five growth phases. The frequency of antimicrobial-resistant coliforms and antimicrobial-resistant bacteria or antimicrobial resistance genes was analyzed. No differences in the richness or abundance of antimicrobial-resistant coliforms or antimicrobial resistance genes were found when animals fed with or without prophylactic antimicrobials were compared. Withholding antimicrobial supplementation did not negatively affect weight gain in pigs. Withdrawal of prophylactic antimicrobial consumption during two generations of pigs was not enough to reduce the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance genes, as measured by richness and abundance markers. This study indicates that the fitness costs associated with bacterial carriage of some antimicrobial resistance genes are low.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScience Progress
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Antimicrobial prophylaxis
  • antibiotic resistance
  • antimicrobial resistance
  • fitness cost
  • mobile genetic elements
  • pigs
  • resistome


Dive into the research topics of 'Removal of antimicrobial prophylaxis and its effect on swine carriage of antimicrobial-resistant coliforms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this