Methods: A collection of 353 ESBL-positive E. coli isolates from the UK, the Netherlands and Germany were studied by MLST and ESBL genes were identified. Characterization of ESBL gene-carrying plasmids was performed using PCR-based replicon typing. Moreover, IncI1-Iγ and IncN plasmids were characterized by plasmid MLST.
Results: The ESBL-producing E. coli represented 158 different STs with ST131, ST10 and ST88 being the most common. Overall, blaCTX-M-1 was the most frequently detected ESBL gene, followed by blaCTX-M-15, which was the most common ESBL gene in the human isolates. The most common plasmid replicon type overall was IncI1-Iγ followed by multiple IncF replicons.
Conclusions: ESBL genes were present in a wide variety of E. coli STs. IncI1-Iγ plasmids that carried the blaCTX-M-1 gene were widely disseminated amongst STs in isolates from animals and humans, whereas other plasmids and STs appeared to be more restricted to isolates from specific hosts.