Animals (Basel). 2021 Jun 9;11(6):1724. doi: 10.3390/ani11061724.
Enterococci, which are considered environmental mastitis-causing pathogens, have easily acquired aminoglycoside-resistant genes that encode various aminoglycoside-modifying enzymes (AME). Therefore, this study was conducted to compare the distribution of high-level aminoglycoside-resistant (HLAR) and multidrug-resistant (MDR) Enterococcus faecalis (E. faecalis) bacteria isolated from bulk tank milk in four dairy companies in Korea. Moreover, it analyzed the characteristics of their antimicrobial resistance genes and virulence factors. Among the 301 E. faecalis bacteria studied, 185 (61.5%) showed HLAR with no significant differences among the dairy companies. Furthermore, 129 (69.7%) of the 185 HLAR E. faecalis showed MDR without significant differences among companies. In contrast, HLAR E. faecalis from companies A, B, and C were significantly higher in resistance to the four classes than those in company D, which had the highest MDR ability against the three antimicrobial classes (p < 0.05). In addition, in the distribution of AME genes, 72 (38.9%) and 36 (19.5%) of the isolates carried both aac(6')Ie-aph(2″)-la and ant(6)-Ia genes, and the ant (6)-Ia gene alone, respectively, with significant differences among the companies (p < 0.05). In the distribution of virulence genes, the ace (99.5%), efa A (98.9%), and cad 1 (98.4%) genes were significantly prevalent (p < 0.05). Thus, our results support that an advanced management program by companies is required to minimize the dissemination of antimicrobial resistance and virulence factors.