- Patel, Sunny [Browse]
- Senior thesis
- 66 pages
- Ramanan, Laxminarayan [Browse]
- Princeton University. Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology [Browse]
- Class year
- Summary note
- Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is increasing, in part because of the inappropriate use of antibiotics in human medicine but also due to unregulated practices in the agricultural industry. Livestock animals are given large quantities of antibiotics to promote animal health, growth, and productivity. But, in addition to these benefits, agricultural use promotes the selection of resistance genes in bacterial populations. Resistant bacteria from agricultural environments may be transferred to pathogens in human communities where they can universally spread and cause disease. This study surveyed the bacterial populations of broiler chickens in Punjab, India to assess the abundance of antibiotic resistance and determine the diversity and dominance of resistant bacterial strains. The study found E. coli isolates to contain resistance genes and detected an elevated presence of ESBL-producing bacteria. These results corroborated previous findings in India and are comparable to those in other nations as well. Also, plasmid profiles of bacterial isolates demonstrated that individual farms possess immense strain diversity. This study reveals the widespread prevalence of antibiotic resistance within the agricultural industry of a developing country and stresses the need to control and monitor the use of antibiotics in food animal production.