Widespread distribution of tetracycline resistance genes in a confined animal feeding facility

O. Colin Stine, Judith A. Johnson, Ananda Keefer-Norris, Kellie L. Perry, Justine Tigno, Sadaf Qaiyumi, Maryruth S. Stine, J. Glenn Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


We sought to determine the distribution of resistance and the tetracycline resistance genes among bacteria isolated from a swine confined animal feeding facility where tetracycline-containing feed had been in use for over 20 years. Samples collected from feed, hogs, hog houses, waste lagoon, soil, surface water and well water were screened for the presence of (a) resistant Escherichia coli and enterococci and (b) tetracycline-resistant strains of all species. Genomic DNA was extracted from the latter strain collection and fragments from 16S rDNA and ten tetracycline resistance genes (tetA, tetB, tetC, tetE, tetH, tetL, tetM, tetS, tetT and rumB) were polymerase chain reaction-amplified and a partial nucleotide sequence was obtained. In this environment, 77% of E. coli and 68% of enterococci isolated were tetracycline resistant. Tetracycline resistance was found in 26 different bacterial genera and in 60 species. Single resistance gene alleles (as defined by nucleotide sequence) were present in multiple species. There was evidence of gene recombination and multiple different tetracycline resistance genes were present in single bacterial isolates. These data provide further evidence for the widespread distribution of resistance genes in microbial populations in settings in which there is ongoing subtherapeutic antimicrobial use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-352
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Antimicrobial Agents
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal feed
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Confined animal feeding operations
  • Swine
  • Tetracycline

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Microbiology
  • Parasitology
  • Virology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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