• Open Access

Antimicrobial Resistance Impacts Clinical Outcome of Granulomatous Colitis in Boxer Dogs


  • The abstract was given as an oral presentation at the Forum of the ACVIM in Montreal, 2009.

Corresponding author: Kenneth W. Simpson, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, VMC 2001, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-9655; e-mail: kws5@cornell.edu.


Background: Escherichia coli have recently been identified within the colonic mucosa of Boxer dogs with granulomatous colitis (GC). Eradication of invasive E. coli is associated with clinical and histological remission.

Objectives: To determine antimicrobial susceptibility profiles of E. coli strains from GC and healthy dogs, and the association of antimicrobial resistance with clinical outcome.

Animals: Fourteen Boxer dogs with GC and 17 healthy pet dogs.

Methods: Prospective study: E. coli was cultured from GC biopsies and rectal mucosal swabs of healthy dogs. Individual strains were selected by phylogroup and overall genotype, determined by triplex- and random amplified polymorphic DNA-polymerase chain reaction respectively. Antimicrobial susceptibility was determined by broth microdilution minimal inhibitory concentration.

Results: Culture yielded 23 E. coli strains from GC (1–3/dog, median 2) and 34 strains from healthy (1–3/dog, median 2). E. coli phylogroups were similar (P= .18) in GC (5A, 7B1, 5B2, 6D) and healthy (2A, 10B1, 15B2, 7D). Resistance to ampicillin, amoxicillin-clavulanate, cefoxitin, tetracycline, trimethoprim-sulfa (TMS), ciprofloxacin, and chloramphenicol was greater (P < .05) in GC (21–64%) than healthy (0–24%). Enrofloxacin resistant E. coli were isolated from 6/14 GC versus 0/17 healthy (P= .004). Of the enrofloxacin resistant cases, 4/6 were also resistant to macrophage-penetrating antimicrobials such as chloramphenicol, rifampicin, and TMS. Enrofloxacin treatment before definitive diagnosis was associated with antimicrobial resistance (P < .01) and poor clinical outcome (P < .01).

Conclusions and Clinical Importance: Antimicrobial resistance is common among GC-associated E. coli and impacts clinical response. Antimicrobial therapy should be guided by mucosal culture and antimicrobial susceptibility testing rather than empirical wisdom.