Swine are the primary reservoir for foodborne illness associated with Yersinia enterocolitica. The use of antimicrobials in animal agriculture has been hypothesized as having a potential role in the increase in prevalence of zoonotic pathogens. The objective of this study was to compare the frequency of Y. enterocolitica fecal shedding in swine reared on farms with conventional antimicrobial use policies to farms that were antimicrobial free (ABF). Swine farms were selected from three regions in the United States. In each region, farms were categorized based on antimicrobial use policy. Fecal samples were collected from pigs on-farm within 48 h of harvest. The overall proportion of Y. enterocolitica and ail-harboring Y. enterocolitica-positive pigs was 10.9% and 4.0%, respectively. There were increased odds (odds ratio [OR] 6.8, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.46-13.28) for a pig to be Y. enterocolitica positive if it was reared on an ABF farm as compared to a conventional farm. There was no significant association between farm antimicrobial use policy and isolation of an ail-harboring Y. enterocolitica from an individual pig (OR 1.8, 95% CI 0.90-3.61). The association of antimicrobial use policy with Y. enterocolitica shedding in feces should be interpreted cautiously, as antimicrobial use cannot be separated from other management factors (e.g., confinement or outdoor housing), which may be associated with risk of Y. enterocolitica in swine.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
- Animal Science and Zoology