High diversity of genes encoding tetracycline resistance in the
microbiota of broiler chickens in Tunisia
Tetracycline resistance is still considered one of the most abundant
antibiotic resistances among pathogenic and commensal microorganisms.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of tet genes
encoding tetracycline resistance in broiler chickens in Tunisia, by PCR.
Individual cloacal swabs from 195 broiler chickens were collected at two
slaughterhouses in the governorate of Ben Arous (Grand Tunis, Tunisia).
Chickens were from 7 farms and belonged to 13 lots consisting of 15
animals randomly selected. Individual whole genomic DNA was extracted
and tested for 14 tet genes. All the lots examined were positive for at
least 9 tet genes, with an average number of 11 tet genes per lot. Of
the 195 animals tested, 194 (99%) were positive for one or more tet
genes. Tet(L), tet(M) and tet(O) genes were found in 98% of the
samples, followed by tet(A) in 90.2%, tet(K) in 88.7% and tet(Q) in
80%. These results confirm the antimicrobial resistance impact in the
Tunisian’s poultry sector and suggest the urgent need to establish a
robust national antimicrobial resistance monitoring plan.