ANTIBIOTICS-BASEL, vol.11, no.10, 2022 (SCI-Expanded)
Fluoroquinolone (FQ) resistance in a major foodborne bacterial pathogen, Campylobacter jejuni, derived from cattle has recently become prevalent and poses a significant public health concern. However, the underlying factors for this increase are not entirely clear. To evaluate the effect of enrofloxacin treatment on FQ-resistance development in C. jejuni, 35 commercial calves were equally divided into five groups (Groups 1-5) and were orally inoculated with FQ-susceptible (FQ-S) C. jejuni. Eight days later, Groups 4 and 5 were challenged with Mannheimia haemolytica via a transtracheal route to induce a respiratory disease; after 8 days, Groups 2, 3, 4, and 5 were injected subcutaneously with enrofloxacin (7.5 mg/kg for Groups 2 and 4, and 12.5 mg/kg for Groups 3 and 5). Colonization levels by FQ-resistant (FQ-R) and FQ-S Campylobacter in rectal feces were determined via differential culture throughout the experiment. Before oral inoculation with C. jejuni, only five calves were naturally colonized by Campylobacter, four of which were also colonized by FQ-R C. jejuni (three in Group 1 and one in Group 3). Soon after the oral inoculation, almost all calves in the groups became stably colonized by FQ-S C. jejuni (similar to 3-6 log(10) CFU/g), except that the four calves that were pre-colonized before inoculation remained positive with both FQ-R and FQ-S C. jejuni. Following enrofloxacin administration, C. jejuni colonization declined sharply and rapidly in all treated groups to undetectable levels; however, the vast majority of the animals were recolonized by C. jejuni at comparable levels 72 h after the treatment. Notably, no FQ-R C. jejuni was detected in any of the calves that received enrofloxacin, regardless of the drug dose used or disease status of the animals. The lack of detection of FQ-R C. jejuni was likely due to the localized high concentration of the antibiotic in the intestine, which may have prevented the emergence of the FQ-R mutant. These findings indicate that single-dose enrofloxacin use in cattle poses a low risk for selection of de novo FQ-R mutants in C. jejuni.