Tel.+49 30 8385 1845 Fax.+49 30 83845 1863
A cross-sectional study concerning farm prevalence and risk factors for the count of cefotaxime resistant Escherichia coli (E. coli) (CREC) positive samples per sampling group on German fattening pig farms was performed in 2011 and 2012. Altogether 48 farms in four agricultural regions in the whole of Germany were investigated. Faecal samples, boot swabs and dust samples from two sampling groups per farm were taken and supplemental data were collected using a questionnaire. On 85% of the farms, at least one sample contained cefotaxime resistant E. coli colonies. Positive samples were more frequent in faeces (61%) and boot swabs (54%) than in dust samples (11%). Relevant variables from the questionnaire were analysed in a univariable mixed effect Poisson regression model. Variables that were related to the number (risk) of positive samples per sampling group with a p-value <0.2 were entered in a multivariable model. This model was reduced to statistically significant variables via backward selection. Factors that increased the risk for positive samples involved farm management and hygienic aspects. Farms that had a separate pen for diseased pigs had a 2.8 higher mean count of positive samples (95%-CI [1.71; 4.58], p=0.001) than farms without an extra pen. The mean count was increased on farms with under-floor exhaust ventilation compared to farms with over floor ventilation (2.22 [1.43; 3.46], p=0.001) and more positive samples were observed on farms that controlled flies with toxin compared to farms that did not (1.86 [1.24; 2.78], p=0.003). It can be concluded, that CREC are wide spread on German fattening pig farms. In addition the explorative approach of the present study suggests an influence of management strategies on the occurrence of cefotaxime resistant E. coli.