Background: Multi-drug resistant bacteria are seen increasingly and there are gaps in our understanding of the complexity of antimicrobial resistance, partially due to a lack of appropriate statistical tools. This hampers efficient treatment, precludes determining appropriate intervention points and renders prevention very difficult.
Methods: We re-analysed data from a previous study using additive Bayesian networks. The data contained information on resistances against seven antimicrobials and seven potential risk factors from 86 non-typhoidal Salmonella isolates from laying hens in 46 farms in Uganda.
Results: The final graph contained 22 links between risk factors and antimicrobial resistances. Solely ampicillin resistance was linked to the vaccinating person and disposal of dead birds. Systematic associations between ampicillin and sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim and chloramphenicol, which was also linked to sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim were detected. Sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim was also directly linked to ciprofloxacin and trimethoprim. Trimethoprim was linked to sulfonamide and ciprofloxacin, which was also linked to sulfonamide. Tetracycline was solely linked to ciprofloxacin.
Conclusions: Although the results needs to be interpreted with caution due to a small data set, additive Bayesian network analysis allowed a description of a number of associations between the risk factors and antimicrobial resistances investigated.