Molecular detection of antibiotic resistance genes in avian pathogenic Escherichia coli isolated from poultry droppings in Bayelsa State, Nigeria

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Science Laboratory Technology, Federal Polytechnic Ekowe, Bayelsa State, Nigeria

2 Department of Microbiology, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, Nigeria



Background: Avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) is becoming endemic in poultry farms worldwide and the incidence of antimicrobial resistance seemed to have followed the same trend. APEC is the causative agent of colibacillosis, which has caused economic losses in the poultry industry. In this study. Methods: We used multiplex PCR techniques to target antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) from 10 APEC strains isolated from the droppings of chickens suffering from colibacillosis in the teaching and research farm of the Niger Delta University, Nigeria. Results: The result of the study showed that the APEC isolates possessed some ARGs coding for gentamicin, sulfonamide and cephalosporin, while other tested genes were absent. The prevalence of the detected genes were 80%, 30% and 20% for sull, blaCMY and aac(3)-IVgenes respectively. Most of the isolates had one ARG each. But about 30% of the isolates possessed two resistance genes each; sull and blaCMY in two isolates, and aac(3)-IV and sull in one isolate. The study established the presence of ARGs in the APEC isolated from the poultry droppings. Conclusion: The findings present a public health challenge because it could lead to transmission of antibiotic resistance to humans. We conclude that the surveillance of antibiotic resistance gene and pattern of APEC is essential for the control of diseases in both poultry and humans. We therefore recommend limited use of synthetic antibiotics in poultry.


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