Background: Antibiotic resistance is a serious problem worldwide affecting human and animal health. Some bacteria are resistant to more than one antibiotic and this multidrug-resistance is one of the top 10 threats to global health. There is a potential that antibiotic resistant strains are passed on from animals to humans leading to more serious bacterial infections and burden. The study was therefore conducted to determine antibiotic resistant bacterial profile in chickens, cattle, goats and pigs.
Methods: Laboratory microbiological experiments were conducted on droppings, mouth, nose and hooves samples obtained from chickens, cattle, goats and pigs from Bvumbwe, Malawi. Gram stain was performed to identify the organisms and biochemical reactions were used to confirm bacterial species. The susceptibility of the bacterial isolates to commonly used antibiotics in Malawi was done using disk diffusion method.
Results: Bacteria were detected in all the 110 (100%) samples. Citrobacter, S. aureus, Bacillus, E. coli, Clostridium, Klebsiella, Streptococcus, other coliforms and Staphylococcus species were isolated. Among the samples, Bacillus species were the most isolated (35%) and distributed (41.8%) organisms while Streptococcus species were the least isolated (1%) and distributed (3%) organisms. S. aureus, Streprococcus and Citrobactor species demonstrated resistance to at least four antibiotics including Gentamycin, Tetracycline, Ampicillin, Ciprofloxacin, Chloramphenicol and Erythromycin. Highest resistance of 41.7 % was observed in S. aureus followed by Citrobacter species of 33.3%.
Conclusion: Healthy farm animals such as chickens, cattle, goats and pigs harbour antibiotic resistance strains. High levels of Ampicillin and Tetracycline resistance in bacterial strains are common in Bvumbwe, Malawi. Efforts are needed to control the use, distribution, storage and sale of antibiotics in veterinaries.