Antimicrobial resistance in nearly all human and animal pathogens is on the increase. In poultry, Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale has been identified as a newly emerging respiratory bacterial pathogen that has caused significant economic losses to the poultry industry. In this study, we examined in vitro antibiotic resistance profiles of 125 isolates of O. rhinotracheale isolated from turkeys in Minnesota during 1996–2002. A majority of isolates was sensitive to clindamycin, erythromycin, spectinomycin, and ampicillin. Resistance against sulfachloropyridiazine decreased from 1996 to 2002, but an increase in resistance was seen against gentamicin, ampicillin, trimethoprim sulfa, and tetracycline. The annual trend slopes for these antibiotics were 7.36%, 3.02%, 2.43%, and 1.95%, respectively. The resistance against penicillin remained constant from year to year with a trend slope of only 0.54% per year. These results emphasize the need for continued monitoring of O. rhinotracheale isolates for antibiotic resistance and establishment of baseline resistance pattern data for this organism. These data can then be used to design and evaluate local epidemiological interventions.

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