Extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli in human-derived and foodchain-derived samples from England, Wales, and Scotland: an epidemiological surveillance and typing study

Michaela J. Day, Katie L. Hopkins, David Wareham, Mark A. Toleman, Nicola Elviss , Luke Randall , Christopher Teale, Paul Cleary, Camilla Wiuff, Michel Doumith, Matthew J Ellington, Neil Woodford, David Livermore

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Background: Escherichia coli isolates producing extended-spectrum βlactamases (‘ESBL-E. coli’) cause >5000 bacteraemias annually in the UK. The contribution of the food chain to this challenge is debated. Methods: Selective media were used to seek ESBL-E. coli in routinely-submitted human faeces, sewage, farm slurry, and retail foodstuffs in London, East Anglia, Northwest England, Scotland and Wales. Recovered isolates were sequenced and compared with 293 bloodstream and 83 veterinary surveillance ESBL-E. coli isolates from the same regions. Findings: 10.7% (2157/20243) of human faeces contained ESBL-E. coli, rising to 17.0% (678/3995) in London. ESBL-E. coli also were frequent in sewage and present in 65.4% (104/159) of retail chicken, but rare in other meats and absent from plant-based foods. Sequence Type (ST) 131 dominated among ESBL-E. coli from human blood (188/293, 64.2%), faeces (128/360, 35.6%) and sewage (14/65, 21.5%) with STs 38 and 648 also widespread; CTX-M-15 was the predominant ESBL in these lineages. By contrast, STs 602, 23, 117 - mostly with CTX-M-1 ESBL - dominated among food and veterinary isolates, with only two ST131 organisms recovered. ST10 occurred in both animals and humans: being frequent in surveillance bovines and representing 4.2% (15/360) of human faecal isolates (but only 1% [3/293] from bacteraemias); however both human and animal ST10 isolates were diverse in serotype. Interpretation: Most human bacteraemias with ESBL-E. coli in the UK involve successful human-associated STs, particularly ST131; non-human reservoirs made little contribution to invasive human disease. Funding: NIHR Policy Research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1325-1335
Number of pages11
JournalThe Lancet Infectious Diseases
Issue number12
Early online date22 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

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