Mcr-1 identified in avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC)

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Abstract

Antimicrobial resistance associated with colistin has emerged as a significant concern worldwide threatening the use of one of the most important antimicrobials for treating human disease. Here, we examined a collection (n = 980) of Avian Pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) isolated from poultry with colibacillosis from the US and internationally for the presence of mcr-1 and mcr-2, genes known to encode colistin resistance. Included in the analysis was an additional set of avian fecal E. coli (AFEC) (n = 220) isolates from healthy birds for comparative analysis. The mcr-1 gene was detected in a total of 12 isolates recovered from diseased production birds from China and Egypt. No mcr genes were detected in the healthy fecal isolates. The full mcr-1 gene from positive isolates was sequenced using specifically designed primers and were compared with sequences currently described in NCBI. mcr-1 positive isolates were also assessed for phenotypic colistin resistance and extended spectrum beta lactam phenotypes and genotypes. This study has identified mcr-1 in APEC isolates dating back to at least 2010 and suggests that animal husbandry practices could result in a potential source of resistance to the human food chain in countries where application of colistin in animal health is practiced.

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Barbieri, N. L., Nielsen, D. W., Wannemuehler, Y., Cavender, T., Hussein, A., Yan, S. G., … Logue, C. M. (2017). Mcr-1 identified in avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC). PLoS ONE, 12(3). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0172997

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