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Extended spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBL) belong to the most widely disseminated resistance mechanisms in Enterobacteriacae. In a cross-sectional study in livestock, among broiler and fattening pig farms, also 42 cattle farms were sampled in 2011 and 2012. Data on potential risk factors were collected by means of a questionnaire. The aim of the study was to investigate the prevalence of ESBL-producing E. coli and potential risk factors for their occurrence.
Dairy and beef cattle farms were located in Bavaria as well as in the middle, the east and the north-west of Germany. On each farm samples were taken from two animal groups, three collective faecal samples one boot swab and one dust sample. The growth of E. coli on MacConkey agar plates containing 1 mg/l cefotaxime was investigated and the bacterial species was confirmed using MALDI TOF. Supplemental data on management, feeding, hygiene and the use of antimicrobial substances were collected using a questionnaire. The laboratory results of the samples and the data derived from the questionnaire were basis for the risk factor analyses.
In 80% of the cattle farms, positive samples were found. The explorative risk factor analyses identified factors from the areas hygiene (cleaning) and management (feeding period), for which a higher number of positive samples was found.
Overall factors indicating a more traditional farm management were associated with a lower number of positive samples.