Macrolide resistance in porcine streptococci: a human health hazard?
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The SafePork conference series began in 1996 to bring together international researchers, industry, and government agencies to discuss current Salmonella research and identify research needs pertaining to both pig and pork production. In subsequent years topics of research presented at these conferences expanded to include other chemical and biological hazards to pig and pork production.
In order to obtain better insights into the possible exchange of resistance genes between human and porcine streptococci, macrolide and lincosamide resistant streptococci from tonsillar and colon swabs from pigs and pork carcass swabs were isolated and their resistance phenotypes and genotypes were determined. The sequences of the erm(B) genes of 21 human streptococci, 22 porcine streptococci and 15 streptococci isolated from pork carcasses were compared. From each of the 33 pigs and from 88 of 99 carcass swabs, at least one resistant streptococcal strain was isolated. The predominant phenotype was the constitutively expressed MLSB phenotype, mostly encoded by the erm(B) gene. Identical erm(B) gene sequences were present in strains from humans, pigs and pork carcasses.