During the past decade extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) producing Enterobacteriaceae have become a matter of great concern in human and veterinary medicine. In this cross-sectional study fecal swabs of a geographically representative number of Swiss cattle at slaughterhouse level were sampled i) to determine the occurrence of ESBL producing Enterobacteriaceae in the Swiss slaughter cattle population younger than 2 years, and ii) to assess risk factors for shedding ESBL producing Enterobacteriaceae. In total, 48 (8.4%; 95% C.I. 6.3–11.1%) independent ESBL producing Enterobacteriaceae were detected among the 571 tested animals. Species identification revealed 46 E. coli strains, one Enterobacter cloacae and one Citrobacter youngae. In view of beta-lactam antibiotics, all 48 isolates were resistant to ampicillin, cephalothin and cefpodoxime. Forty-five (93.8%) isolates were resistant cefuroxime; one (2.1%) isolate to cefoxitin, 28 (58.3%) isolates to cefotaxime, 2 (4.2%) isolates to ceftazidime, and 2 (4.2%) isolates to cefepime. Risk factors for shedding ESBL producing Enterobacteriaceae were (i) age (OR 0.19 and 0.12 in age category 181 d to 1y and 1y to 2 y compared to ≤180 d), (ii) primary production type, meaning dairy compared to beef on farm of origin (OR 5.95), and (iii) more than 1 compared to less than 1 animal movement per d per 100 animals on farm of origin (OR 2.37).
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