Species diversity and antimicrobial resistance patterns of Enterococcus spp. isolated from mastitis cases, milking machine and the environment of dairy cows

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2022-01-01

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The objectives were to study the diversity of Enterococcus spp. isolated from mastitis cases, milking equipment and the environment of dairy cows; and to determine in vitro resistance of isolates to antimicrobials that are relevant to human and animal health. Ten dairy farms were visited to collect samples from mastitis cases, faeces, bedding, aisles, water and milking equipment. Identification of Enterococcus at the species level and antimicrobial resistance testing was performed by MALDI-TOF and the disk-diffusion method, respectively. Of 365 isolates, Enterococcus hirae was the most prevalent, being more likely to be isolated from faeces than from milk (odds ratio (OR) = 39·2), liners (OR = 5·4) or bedding (OR = 2·2). Enterococcus saccharolyticus was the most prevalent in milk samples. The chances of isolating Enterococcus faecalis from milk were higher than from aisles (OR = 12·5), faeces (OR = 5·3), bedding (OR = 3·6) or liners (OR = 3·0). The odds of isolating Enterococcus faecium from faeces were higher than from liners (OR = 7·3), bedding (OR = 2·5) or aisles (OR = 2·4). Of 360 tested isolates, 1·9, 0·3 and 0·6% were resistant to penicillin, vancomycin and teicoplanin, respectively. Our results suggest that Enterococcus species can occupy specific ecological niches on dairy farms and pose a risk to public and animal health.

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Letters in Applied Microbiology.

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