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Editorial
Identifying risk factors in selecting for antimicrobial resistance
  1. Patrick Butaye, DVM, PhD
  1. Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Centre, B-1180 Ukkel, Belgium and Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium
  1. e-mail: patrick.butaye{at}coda-cerva.be

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A PAPER by Jones and others (2013), summarised on p 422 of this issue of Veterinary Record, investigates risk factors for increased fluoroquinolone and cephalosporin resistance in breeder and fattening turkeys in the UK.

Resistance against fluoroquinolones differs substantially from resistance against cephalosporins. For fluoroquinolones resistance is mainly mediated by mutations, while for cephalosporins resistance is mediated by specific genes mostly located on mobile genetic elements. This means that the spread and selection of resistance is substantially different since, for fluoroquinolone resistance, in general spread is mediated by clonal expansion and the selection of newly emerged mutants, while for cephalosporins horizontal gene transfer should be taken into account next to the selection of resistant bacteria. Also, in the case of cephalosporin-resistant strains, expansion of certain clones should be taken into account, as seen in some salmonella episodes (Butaye and others 2006). These issues should be taken into account when assessing risk factors for resistance; however, they are difficult to include in models due to the fact that their influence cannot be accurately quantified.

In the model described by Jones and others (2013), risk factors identified as being important for the selection of fluoroquinolone resistance include the use …

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