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OBJECTIVES: We investigated longitudinally Vietnamese small-scale chicken flocks in order to characterize changes in antimicrobial resistance gene (ARG) content over their life cycle, and the impact of antimicrobial use (AMU) on an intervention consisting of veterinary advice provision. METHODS: AMU data and faecal samples were collected from 83 flocks (25 farms) at day-old, mid- and late-production (∼4 month cycle). Using high-throughput real-time PCR, samples were investigated for 94 ARGs. ARG copies were related to 16S rRNA and ng of DNA (ngDNA). Impact of AMU and ARGs in day-olds was investigated by mixed-effects models. RESULTS: Flocks received a mean (standard error, SE) animal daily dose (ADD) of 736.7 (83.0) and 52.1 (9.9) kg in early and late production, respectively. Overall, ARGs/16S rRNA increased from day-old (mean 1.47; SE 0.10) to mid-production (1.61; SE 0.16), further decreasing in end-production (1.60; SE 0.1) (all P > 0.05). In mid-production, ARGs/16S rRNA increased for aminoglycosides, phenicols, sulphonamides and tetracyclines, decreasing for polymyxins β-lactams and genes that confer resistance to mutiple classes (multi-drug resistance) (MDR). At end-production, aminoglycoside resistance decreased and polymyxin and quinolone resistance increased (all P  0.05) were computed. CONCLUSIONS: The flocks' environment (contaminated water, feed and residual contamination) is likely to play a more important role in transmission of ARGs to flocks than previously thought. Results highlight intriguing differences in the quantification of ARGs depending on the metric chosen.

Original publication




Journal article


JAC Antimicrob Resist

Publication Date