Predicting effects of changed antimicrobial usage on the abundance of antimicrobial resistance genes in finisher’ gut microbiomes

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • V. D. Andersen
  • F. M. Aarestrup
  • P. Munk
  • M. S. Jensen
  • de Knegt, Leonardo Victor
  • V. Bortolaia
  • B. E. Knudsen
  • O. Lukjancenko
  • A. C. Birkegård
  • H. Vigre

It is accepted that usage of antimicrobials (AMs) in food animals causes the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in this sector, while also contributing to the burden of AMR in humans. Curbing the increasing occurrence of AMR in food animals requires in-depth knowledge of the quantitative relationship between antimicrobial usage (AMU) and AMR to achieve desired resistance reductions from interventions targeting AMU. In the observational study, the relationships between lifetime AMU in 83 finisher batches from Danish farms and the AMR gene abundances of seven antimicrobial classes in their gut microbiomes were quantified using multi-variable linear regression models. These relationships and the national lifetime AMU in pigs were included in the predictive modelling that allowed for testing of scenarios with changed lifetime AMU for finishers produced in Denmark in 2014. A total of 50 farms from the observational study were included in validating the observational study and the predictive modelling. The results from the observational study showed that the relationship was linear, and that the parenteral usage of AMs had a high effect on specific AM-classes of resistance, whereas the peroral usage had a lower but broader effect on several classes. Three different scenarios of changed lifetime AMU were simulated in the predictive modelling. When all tetracycline usage ceased, the predicted interval reductions of aminoglycoside, lincosamide and tetracycline resistance were 4–42 %, 0–8 % and 9–18 %, respectively. When the peroral tetracycline usage of the 10 % highest users was replaced with peroral macrolide usage, the tetracycline resistance fell by 1–2 % and the macrolide and MLSb resistance increased by 5–8 %. When all extended-spectrum penicillin usage was replaced with parenteral lincosamide usage, the beta-lactam resistance fell by 2–7 %, but the lincosamide usage and resistance increased by 194 % and 10–45 %, respectively. The external validation provided results within the 95 % CI of the predictive modelling outcome at national level, while the external validation at farm level was less accurate. In conclusion, interventions targeting AMU will reduce AMR abundance, though differently depending on the targeted AM-class and provided the reduction of one AM-class usage is not replaced with usage of another AM-class. Predicting several classes of AMR gene abundance simultaneously will support stakeholders when deciding on interventions targeting AMU in the finisher production to avoid adverse and unforeseen effects on the AMR abundance. This study provides a sound predictive modelling framework for further development, including the dynamics of AMU on AMR in finishers at national level.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104853
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Antimicrobial, Modelling, Pigs, Predictive, Resistance, Sequencing

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