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Background and objectives: Previous studies showed the occurrence of extended-spectrum B-lactamase (ESBL) and plasmid-mediated AmpC B-lactamase-producing Enterobaderiaceae in broiler fattening farms, even in day-old chicks. Therefore we assume an early entry or emergence of these resistant bacteria in the broiler production chain, which is investigated in this ongoing study.
Materials and methods: Seven broiler fattening flocks, preselected by positive initial testing of the parent flocks, are tracked along the entire production chain. The hatchery, as suspected bottleneck for bacteria transmission, is sampled intensively. In the farms the chicken and their environment are investigated from arriving until leaving, also their carcasses and packed meat in the slaughterhouse.
Results: ESBL-/AmpC-producing Enterobacteriacea in the hatchery were found on some egg surfaces in one flock only. At the chickens' arrival in their fattening farms the bacteria were not detected in cloacal swabs, but in a few samples from the environment inside the barn. However, during the fattening period several samples of animals and environment were positive, which was the same for slaughterhouse.
Conclusion: Mostly negative samples from hatcheries and arriving at fattening farms but findings of antibiotic resistant bacteria in the course of fattening period do not support the hypothesis of a vertical ESBL-transfer in broiler herds. Further molecular characterizations will be considered.