Antimicrobial susceptibility profiles of Escherichia coli isolated from selected commercial broiler chicken farms in Luwero Town Council, Luwero District, Uganda
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This baseline study employed a purposive random sampling strategy from 18th to 24th October, 2021 on commercial broiler chicken farms in Luwero town council, Luwero district. The objectives were; to identify the most common commercial broiler management system in use, determine the antimicrobial susceptibility patterns of the E. coli isolates and identify the injudicious use of antimicrobials from the selected broiler chicken farms. A total of 70 samples (40 Environmental fecal swabs and 30 Cloacal fecal swabs) was collected from 10 different commercial broiler farms and brought to Central Diagnostic Laboratory (CDL), Makerere University. All samples were handled using standard biological methods. The prevalence of E. coli in Poultry house and Cloacal fecal swab samples was 77.5 % (31⁄40) and 96.66 % (29⁄30) respectively. All the sampled farms practiced deep-litter commercial broiler chicken farming with 60% of the farms having no foot baths, no rodent control programs and the 40% who control rodents were not maintained by professionals. The antibiotic susceptibility testing was determined using drug disc diffusion method. E. coli isolates showed susceptibility variations to the drugs used and highest susceptibility was (78.3%) to Gentamicin, Amoxicillin (51.7%), Ciprofloxacin (38.3%), Sulfamethoxazole-Trimethoprim (5.0%) and Tetracycline (1.7%). Whereas, the highest resistance of (96.7%) was registered against Tetracycline, Sulfamethoxazole-Trimethoprim (95.0%), Streptomycin (73.3%), Ciprofloxacin (46.7%), Gentamicin (16.7%) and Amoxicillin (8.3%). The Multiple Drug Resistance (MDR) to at least two antibiotics studied was 98.3%, which was worrisome. In addition, 60% of the farms practice extra-label use of antibiotics, 50% of the farms use antibiotics daily for prophylaxis and as growth promotion, and none of the farms takes samples for postmortem and for laboratory analysis before intervening treatment protocols. 80% of the farms consult fellow farmers in case of treatment failure and for the best treatment choices they have ever attempted. Antimicrobial susceptibility tests accompanied with postmortem reports should be done before treatment to reduce on ineffective treatments and AMR patterns. Veterinary practitioners should also initiate programs aimed at sensitizing farmers about proper broiler farming practices and judicious use of antibiotics.