Antimicrobial resistance in Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli serogroups O157 and O26 isolated from human cases of diarrhoeal disease in England, 2015

Martin Day, Michel Doumith, Claire Jenkins, Timothy J. Dallman, Katie L. Hopkins, Richard Elson, Gauri Godbole, Neil Woodford

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OBJECTIVES: Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) are zoonotic and transmission to humans occurs via contaminated food or contact with infected animals. In this study, WGS data were used to predict antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in STEC from symptomatic human cases to assess the extent of transmission of antibiotic-resistant E. coli from animals to humans. METHODS: WGS data from 430 isolates of STEC were mapped to genes known to be associated with phenotypic AMR. Susceptibility testing was performed by a breakpoint method on all viable isolates exhibiting resistance to at least one antimicrobial. RESULTS: 327/396 (82.6%) of STEC O157 and 22/34 (64.7%) of STEC O26 lacked identifiable resistance genes and were predicted to be fully susceptible to 11 diverse classes of antimicrobials. For the remaining 81 isolates, 74 were phenotypically tested and there was concordance between WGS-predicted resistance and expression of phenotypic resistance. The most common resistance profile was ampicillin, streptomycin, trimethoprim/sulphonamide and tetracycline occurring in 25 (5.8%) isolates. Resistance to other antimicrobials, including resistance to chloramphenicol (2.1%), resistance to azithromycin (0.2%) and reduced susceptibility to ciprofloxacin (2.6%), was less frequent. Three isolates were identified as ESBL producers. CONCLUSIONS: β-Lactams, trimethoprim/sulphonamides and tetracyclines account for the majority of therapeutic antimicrobials sold for veterinary use and this may be a risk factor for the presence of AMR in domestically acquired human clinical isolates of STEC. Isolates that were resistant to ampicillin, streptomycin, sulphonamide, tetracycline and azithromycin and had reduced susceptibility to ciprofloxacin were associated with cases who reported recent travel abroad.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-152
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Issue number1
Early online date27 Sep 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017

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