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Comparison of Antimicrobial Resistance of Campylobacter jejuni Isolated from Humans, Chickens, Raw Milk, and Environmental Water in Québec

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This study compares the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance to erythromycin, ciprofloxacin, and tetracycline among 384 Campylobacter jejuni isolates from humans (245), fresh whole retail chickens (56), raw milk (33), and environmental water (41) collected between 2000 and 2003 in Québec, Canada. Resistance to ciprofloxacin was significantly more frequent in human isolates acquired abroad than in those acquired locally (50 versus 5.9%; P < 0.001); ciprofloxacin resistance was almost absent in water, chicken, and raw milk isolates. In contrast, resistance to erythromycin was significantly more common in chicken than in locally acquired human isolates (16 versus 3.0%, respectively; P < 0.001); no erythromycin resistance was found among water, raw milk, and human isolates acquired abroad. Resistance to tetracycline was significantly more common in chicken and human isolates acquired locally (58.9 and 45.8%, respectively) than in raw milk and water isolates (9.1 and 7.3%, respectively, P < 0.001). Tetracycline resistance was also observed in 44.4% of human isolates acquired abroad. No human isolate was resistant to both ciprofloxacin and erythromycin, but one chicken isolate was resistant to all three antimicrobial agents. Our results suggest that from 2000 to 2003 in Québec, antimicrobial resistance remained stable among locally acquired C. jejuni human clinical isolates and might even have decreased. However, the high erythromycin resistance rate observed among chicken isolates is concerning because of the risk of transmission of such isolates to humans. Additional studies are needed to monitor trends in antimicrobial resistance among food, environment, and human C. jejuni isolates as well as antibiotic use in animals.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Faculté de Médecine de l'Université de Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada J1H 5N4

Publication date: 2007-03-01

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