Farming Practice Influences Antimicrobial Resistance Burden of Non-Aureus Staphylococci in Pig Husbandries

Manonmani Soundararajan, Gabriella Marincola, Olivia Liong, Tessa Marciniak, Freya D.R. Wencker, Franka Hofmann, Hannah Schollenbruch, Iris Kobusch, Sabrina Linnemann, Silver A. Wolf, Mustafa Helal, Torsten Semmler, Birgit Walther, Christoph Schoen, Justin Nyasinga, Gunturu Revathi, Marc Boelhauve, Wilma Ziebuhr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Non-aureus staphylococci (NAS) are ubiquitous bacteria in livestock-associated environments where they may act as reservoirs of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) genes for pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus. Here, we tested whether housing conditions in pig farms could influence the overall AMR-NAS burden. Two hundred and forty porcine commensal and environmental NAS isolates from three different farm types (conventional, alternative, and organic) were tested for phenotypic antimicrobial susceptibility and subjected to whole genome sequencing. Genomic data were analysed regarding species identity and AMR gene carriage. Seventeen different NAS species were identified across all farm types. In contrast to conventional farms, no AMR genes were detectable towards methicillin, aminoglycosides, and phenicols in organic farms. Additionally, AMR genes to macrolides and tetracycline were rare among NAS in organic farms, while such genes were common in conventional husbandries. No differences in AMR detection existed between farm types regarding fosfomycin, lincosamides, fusidic acid, and heavy metal resistance gene presence. The combined data show that husbandry conditions influence the occurrence of resistant and multidrug-resistant bacteria in livestock, suggesting that changing husbandry practices may be an appropriate means of limiting the spread of AMR bacteria on farms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number31
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • NAS
  • alternative pig farming
  • antimicrobial resistance
  • intervention strategies
  • livestock-associated staphylococci
  • non-aureus staphylococci
  • one-health approach
  • organic farming
  • pig farming methods


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