Spatial Relationships between Small-Holder Farms Coupled With Livestock Management Practices Are Correlated With the Distribution of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria in Northern Tanzania

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Scholarly level: 
Graduate student (PhD)
Final version published as: 

Rosenkrantz, Leah & Amram, Ofer & Caudell, Mark & Schuurman, Nadine & Call, Douglas. (2019). Spatial relationships between small-holder farms coupled with livestock management practices are correlated with the distribution of antibiotic resistant bacteria in northern Tanzania. One Health. 8. 100097. DOI: 10.1016/j.onehlt.2019.100097

Date created: 
Antimicrobial resistance
Multi-drug resistance
Spatial epidemiology
Hotspot analysis

We examined the spatial distribution of antibiotic-resistant coliform bacteria amongst livestock from three distinct cultural groups, where group-level differences in practices (e.g., antibiotic use) may influence the magnitude of antibiotic resistance, while livestock interactions (e.g., mixing herds, shared markets) between these locations may reduce heterogeneity in the distribution of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Data was collected as part of a larger study of antibiotic-resistance in northern Tanzania. Simple regression and generalized linear regression were used to assess livestock management and care practices in relation to the prevalence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) coliform bacteria. Simple and multivariable logistic regression were then used to identify how different management practices affected the odds of households being found within MDR “hotspots.” Households that had a higher median neighbourhood value within a 3000 m radius showed a significant positive correlation with livestock MDR prevalence (β = 4.33, 95% CI: 2.41–6.32). Households were more likely to be found within hotspots if they had taken measures to avoid disease (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) 1.53, CI: 1.08—2.18), and if they reported traveling less than a day to reach the market (AOR 2.66, CI: 1.18—6.01). Hotspot membership was less likely when a greater number of livestock were kept at home (AOR 0.81, CI: 0.69–0.95), if livestock were vaccinated (AOR 0.32, CI: 0.21—0.51), or if distance to nearest village was greater (AOR 0.46, CI: 0.36–0.59). The probability of MDR increases when herds are mixed, consistent with evidence for passive transmission of resistant bacteria between animals. Reduced MDR with vaccination is consistent with many studies showing reduced antibiotic use with less disease burden. The neighbourhood effect has implications for design of intervention studies.

Document type: 
National Science Foundation: Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases