Presence of β-lactamases in extended-spectrum-cephalosporin-resistant Salmonella enterica of 30 different serovars in Germany 2005–11

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Between 20 000 and 35 000 cases of salmonellosis are detected annually in Germany, but only a few Salmonella are resistant to third-generation cephalosporins. The German National Reference Centre for Salmonella and other Enterics obtained 150 Salmonella enterica isolates from human infections between 2005 and 2011. In the present study we identified the β-lactamase genes causing resistance to third-generation cephalosporins in these isolates.


For all isolates serotyping and antimicrobial susceptibility testing were performed. The presence of β-lactamase genes was detected by PCR amplification and sequencing. Isolates with identical serovar and β-lactamase genes were typed by XbaI macrorestriction followed by PFGE. Broth mate conjugation assays and plasmid analysis using S1 nuclease restriction of genomic DNA and subsequent PFGE as well as PCR-based replicon typing were performed for selected isolates.


The 150 isolates were assigned to 30 different serovars, with S. enterica serovar Typhimurium (n = 73; 48.7%) as the most prevalent. Two different AmpC β-lactamase genes (blaCMY-2, n = 8; blaACC-1, n = 6) and various extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) genes were identified. The majority harboured the blaCTX-M-1 gene (n = 91; 60.7%) followed by blaCTX-M-14 (n = 12; 8.0%) and blaSHV-12 (n = 11; 7.3%). Typing of strains and subsequent comparison with selected Salmonella isolates from livestock revealed the presence of several clones in both humans and livestock.


The wide spread of ESBL and AmpC genes in Salmonella of various serovars is most probably due to transfer of conjugative plasmids. Furthermore, our data indicate the clonal spread of distinct cephalosporin-resistant Salmonella strains from livestock to humans.

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