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CONTINUOUS use of veterinary antimicrobials can lead to antimicrobial resistance (Asai and others 2005). Macrolides (MLs) such as erythromycin (intramuscular) and tylosin (oral) are administered more frequently in pigs than other food animals (Tamura 2003, MAFF 2012).
Campylobacter species are among the most frequently reported foodborne pathogens in human beings worldwide (Allos and Blaser 1995, Mead and others 1999, NIID 2010). Although campylobacteriosis is most commonly caused by Campylobacter jejuni, Campylobacter coli is also an important foodborne pathogen (Tam and others 2003). Campylobacter isolated from pigs is predominantly C. coli (Weijtens and others 1999). Most cases of Campylobacter infection are self-limiting and do not require intervention with antimicrobial agents. However, antimicrobial treatment may become essential for recovery in cases of severely invasive disease. The MLs (e.g., azithromycin or erythromycin) are the first-choice drugs for treating campylobacteriosis because of prevalent resistance of Campylobacter to fluoroquinolones (Allos 2001). However, the rate of resistance to MLs in C. coli derived from pigs and pig products is approximately 50 per cent in Japan (NVAL 2011). Previous studies have shown that in European countries, the ML-resistant rate of C. coli derived from pigs and pig products ranged from 0 per cent to 67 per cent (Little and others 2008, EFSA 2013). The high rate of ML resistance in C. coli poses a major problem for …