Image_1_Simultaneous Carriage of mcr-1 and Other Antimicrobial Resistance Determinants in Escherichia coli From Poultry.tif

The use of antimicrobial growth promoters (AGPs) in sub-therapeutic doses for long periods promotes the selection of resistant microorganisms and the subsequent risk of spreading this resistance to the human population and the environment. Global concern about antimicrobial resistance development and transference of resistance genes from animal to human has been rising. The goal of our research was to evaluate the susceptibility pattern to different classes of antimicrobials of colistin-resistant Escherichia coli from poultry production systems that use AGPs, and characterize the resistance determinants associated to transferable platforms. E. coli strains (n = 41) were obtained from fecal samples collected from typical Argentine commercial broiler farms and susceptibility for 23 antimicrobials, relevant for human or veterinary medicine, was determined. Isolates were tested by PCR for the presence of mcr-1, extended spectrum β-lactamase encoding genes and plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance (PMQR) coding genes. Conjugation and susceptibility patterns of the transconjugant studies were performed. ERIC-PCR and REP-PCR analysis showed a high diversity of the isolates. Resistance to several antimicrobials was determined and all colistin-resistant isolates harbored the mcr-1 gene. CTX-M-2 cefotaximase was the main mechanism responsible for third generation cephalosporins resistance, and PMQR determinants were also identified. In addition, co-transference of the qnrB determinant on the mcr-1-positive transconjugants was corroborated, which suggests that these resistance genes are likely to be located in the same plasmid. In this work a wide range of antimicrobial resistance mechanisms were identified in E. coli strains isolated from the environment of healthy chickens highlighting the risk of antimicrobial abuse/misuse in animals under intensive production systems and its consequences for public health.