The chemostat model has been an important tool in studying intestinal microflora. To date, several competitive exclusion products have been developed from such studies as prophylactic treatment against pathogenic bacteria. A continuous-flow chemostat model of a feral pig was developed using inocula from the cecal contents of a wild boar caught in East Texas. Several strains of antibiotic-sensitive bacteria were isolated including Bacteroides, Lactobacillus, Enterococcus and Clostridium sp. This study reports on the characterization of a multidrug-resistant Clostridum hathewayi strain that was isolated from this feral pig's cecal contents maintained in a continuous-flow chemostat system showing high resistance to carbapenems and macrolides (including the growth promoter tylosin). Clostridium hathewayi has been documented to be pathogenic to both humans and animals. Feral pigs may be an important source of pathogenic and antibiotic resistant bacteria and may pose potential risk to domestic species. Further work is needed to elucidate the prevalence of these reservoirs and assess the contribution these may play in the spread of disease and resistance.
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