Antibiotic resistant bacterial profiles of anaerobic swine lagoon effluent
Received for publication November 3, 2008. Although land application of swine (Sus scrofa) manure lagoon effluent is a common and effective method of disposal, the presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, both pathogenic and commensal can complicate already understood issues associated with its safe disposal. The aim of this study was to assess antibiotic resistance in swine lagoon bacteria from sow, nursery, and finisher farms in the southeastern United States. Effluents from 37 lagoons were assayed for the presence of Escherichia coli, Campylobacter, Listeria, and Salmonella. Antibiotic resistance profiles were determined by the Kirby-Bauer swab method for 12 antibiotics comprising eight classes. Statistical analyses indicated that farm type influenced the amount and type of resistance, with nurseries and sow farms ranking as most influential, perhaps due to use of more antibiotic treatments. Finisher farms tended to have the least amount of antibiotic class resistance, signaling an overall healthier market pig, and less therapeutic or prophylactic antibiotic use. Many bacterial isolates were resistant to penicillin, cephalosporin, and tetracycline class antibiotics, while nearly all were susceptible to quinolone antibiotics. It appeared that swine farm type had a significant association with the amount of resistance associated with bacterial genera sampled from the lagoons; nurseries contributed the largest amount of bacterial resistance.