Carriage of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in urban versus rural wild boars

Nora Navarro-Gonzalez, Raquel Castillo-Contreras, Encarna Casas-Díaz, Nicolas Morellet, M. Concepción Porrero, Guillem Molina-Vacas, Rita T. Torres, Carlos Fonseca, Gregorio Mentaberre, Lucas Domínguez, Santiago Lavín, Emmanuel Serrano

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14 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature. The Western European population of wild boar (Sus scrofa) has increased its distribution over the past several decades, and some populations have colonized areas strongly influenced by human activity. Wild boars are known carriers of antibiotic-resistant bacteria acquired from the environment, and urban populations of wild boars may be more exposed than their rural counterparts. In this work, we compared the frequency of antibiotic resistance in indicator bacteria (Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecalis, Enterococcus faecium) isolated from urban wild boars with that from rural wild boars in NE Spain. We further assessed whether bacterial isolates from the urban wild boars had a higher probability of showing antibiotic resistance when their host was highly associated to urban features. Seventy-two and 100 bacterial isolates from urban and rural habitat, respectively, were screened for antibiotic resistance against a set of antibiotics (13 per bacterial species). We found a significantly higher frequency of E. faecium showing resistance to tetracycline (70.0% vs 36.4%) and high-level resistance to streptomycin (30.0% vs 4.5%) in urban wild boars compared to rural wild boars (p < 0.05). E. faecalis was more frequently resistant to trimethoprim in urban than rural wild boars (33.3% vs 0.0%, p < 0.05). In isolates from urban origin, 55.6% of the likelihood of detecting antibiotic resistance depended only on the bacterial species, being more likely in the enterococci than in E. coli. These results suggest that urban wild boars may be more exposed to certain antibiotic-resistant bacteria or antibiotic resistance genes that they may acquire from the urban environment, although implications are uncertain.
Original languageEnglish
Article number60
JournalEuropean Journal of Wildlife Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Rural environment
  • Sus scrofa
  • Urban environment
  • Wildlife


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