Clonal diversity of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase producingEscherichia coliisolates in fecal samples of wild animals

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The clonal diversity of extended-spectrum-β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli isolates from nine different species of wild animals from distinct regions of Portugal and Spain and their content in replicon plasmids were analyzed. Among the initial 53 ESBL-producing E. coli isolates that were studied (from previous studies), 28 were selected, corresponding to different animal origins with distinct ESBL types and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns. These 28 isolates produced different ESBLs ascribed to the following families: CTX-M, SHV and TEM. The isolates were classified into three phylogenetic groups: B1 (n = 11), A (n = 10) and D (n = 7). The seven E. coli of phylogroup D were then typed by multilocus sequence typing and ascribed to four distinct sequence types: ST117, ST115, ST2001 and ST69. The clonal diversity and relationship between isolates was studied by PFGE. Lastly, the plasmids were analyzed according to their incompatibility group using the PCR-based-replicon-typing scheme. A great diversity of replicon types was identified, with up to five per isolate. Most of the CTX-M-1 and SHV-12 producing E. coli isolates carried IncI1 or IncN replicons. The diversity of ESBL-producing E. coli isolates in wild animals, which can be disseminated in the environment, emphasizes the environmental and health problems that we face nowadays.

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