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Implications of foraging and Interspecies interactions of birds for carriage of Escherichia coli strains resistant to critically important Antimicrobials

Mukerji, S., Gunasekera, S., Dunlop, J.N., Stegger, M., Jordan, D., Laird, T., Abraham, R.J., Barton, M., O’Dea, M.ORCID: 0000-0002-2757-7585, Abraham, S. and Cann, I. (2020) Implications of foraging and Interspecies interactions of birds for carriage of Escherichia coli strains resistant to critically important Antimicrobials. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 86 (20). Art. e01610-20.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.01610-20
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Abstract

Globally, gulls have been associated with carriage of high levels of Escherichia coli strains resistant to critically important antimicrobials (CIAs), a major concern, as these antimicrobials are the sole alternative or one among only a few alternatives available to treat severe life-threatening infections in humans. Previous studies of Australian silver gulls demonstrated high levels of resistance to CIAs, particularly fluoroquinolone and extended-spectrum cephalosporins, among E. coli strains (carriage at 24% and 22%, respectively). This study aimed to identify and characterize strains from four distinct bird species inhabiting a common coastal environment, determine the frequency of carriage of CIA-resistant E. coli strains, and examine if these resistant clones and their resistance-encoding mobile genetic elements (MGEs) could be transmitted between species. CIA-resistant E. coli was detected in silver gulls (53%), little penguins (11%), and feral pigeons (10%), but not in bridled terns. In total, 37 different sequence types (STs) were identified, including clinically significant human-associated lineages, such as ST131, ST95, ST648, ST69, ST540, ST93, ST450, and ST10. Five main mobile genetic elements associated with blaCTX-M-positive E. coli strains isolated from three bird species were detected. Examination of clonal lineages and MGEs provided indirect evidence of transfer of resistance between bird species. The carriage of CIA-resistant E. coli by gulls and pigeons with proximity to humans, and in some instances food-producing animals, increases the likelihood of further bidirectional dissemination.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education
Antimicrobial Resistance and Infectious Disease Laboratory
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
Copyright: © 2020 American Society for Microbiology
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/58332
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