We compared patterns of resistance between S. suis isolates from clinical cases of disease (CC) and non-clinical case (NCC) pigs in England, collected over two discrete periods, 2009–2011 and 2013–2014. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of 17 antimicrobials (nine classes) were determined on 405 S. suis isolates categorised by sampling period and disease association to assess changes in resistance over time and association with disease. First, isolates were characterized as resistant or susceptible using published clinical breakpoints. Second, epidemiological cut-offs (ECOFF) were derived from MIC values, and isolates classified as wild type (WT) below the ECOFF and non-wild type (NWT) above the ECOFF. Finally, isolate subsets were analysed for shifts in MIC distribution.
NCC isolates were more resistant than CC isolates to cephalosporins, penams, pleuromutilins, potentiated sulphonamides and tetracyclines in both study periods. Resistance levels among CC isolates increased in 2013–2014 relative to 2009–2011 for antimicrobials including aminoglycosides, cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones, pleuromutilins, potentiated sulphonamides and tetracyclines. The prevalence of isolates categorised as NWT for five or more classes of antimicrobials was greater among NCC than CC isolates for both time periods, and increased with time. This study used standardised methods to identify significant shifts in antimicrobial resistance phenotypes of S. suis isolated from pigs in England, not only over time but also between isolates from known clinical cases or disease-free pigs.