Antimicrobial resistance in Escherichia coli from wild small mammals and soil in Ontario, Canada
Escherichia coli' isolates from wild small mammal fecal samples and soil samples collected from swine farms, recreation parks, and nature reserves across Ontario were tested for their susceptibility to antimicrobial agents. 'Escherichia coli' isolates from both fecal and soil samples collected on swine farms were more likely to be resistant to >=1 antimicrobial agent than those collected on recreation parks or nature reserves. Additionally, on swine farms, we found no significant association between trap distance from the main swine barn and prevalence of resistance to >=1 antimicrobial agent suggesting that antimicrobial resistance may be widespread in farm environments. Wild small mammal fecal samples and soil samples collected from the same environment had similar frequencies of antimicrobial resistance phenotypes and resistance genes. This indicates that resistance genes and/or bacteria may be exchanged between both soil and wild small mammals, and both may act as reservoirs of resistant bacteria in the environment.