Faecal samples collected from three populations of healthy adult volunteers (290 pigfarmers, 316 abattoir workers, 160 (sub)urban residents) living in the south of The Netherlands were analysed for the prevalence and degree of antibiotic resistance of Escherichia coli.
Significant differences in prevalence of resistance to amoxicillin, neomycin, oxytetracycline, sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim were observed. The pig-farmers showed the highest percentages of resistance and the (sub)urban residents the lowest. In contrast no significant differences in high degrees of resistance were observed, except for neomycin.
Although both pigfarmers and abattoir workers have regular contact with pigs differences in prevalences of resistance were observed. However, because abattoir workers with intensive and less intensive pig(carcass) contact did not show significant differences, this is probably not the only important source of resistant E. coli in pigfarmers.
The high antibiotic use by pigfarmers (5%) and abattoir workers (8%) than by (sub)urban residents (0%) did not result in significantly different resistance percentages.