Detection of virulence genes in multidrug resistant enterococci isolated from feedlots dairy and beef cattle: Implications for human health and food safety

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Abstract

The misuse/abuse of antibiotics in intensive animal rearing and communities led to the emergence of resistant isolates such as vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VREs) worldwide. This has become a major source of concern for the public health sector. The aim of this study was to report the antibiotic resistance profiles and to highlight the presence of virulence genes in VREs isolated from feedlots cattle of the North-West Province of South Africa. 384 faecal samples, 24 drinking troughs water, and 24 soil samples were collected aseptically from 6 registered feedlots. Biochemical and molecular methods were used to identify and categorise the enterococci isolates. Their antibiotic resistance profiles were assessed and genotypic methods were used to determine their antibiotic resistance and their virulence profiles. 527 presumptive isolates were recovered, out of which 289 isolates were confirmed as Enterococcus sp. Specifically, E. faecalis (9%), E. faecium (10%), E. durans (69%), E. gallinarum (6%), E. casseliflavus (2%), E. mundtii (2%), and E. avium (2%) were screened after molecular assays. VanA (62%), vanB (17%), and vanC (21%) resistance genes were detected in 176 Enterococcus sp., respectively. Moreover, tetK (26), tetL (57), msrA/B (111), and mefA (9) efflux pump genes were detected in 138 VRE isolates. Multiple antibiotic resistances were confirmed in all the VRE isolates of this study; the most common antibiotic resistance phenotype was TETR-AMPR-AMXR-VANR-PENR-LINR-ERYR. CylA, hyl, esp, gelE, and asa1 virulence genes were detected in 86 VREs with the exception of vancomycin-resistant E. mundtii isolates that did not display any virulence factor. Most VRE isolates had more than one virulence genes but the most encountered virulence profile was gelE-hyl. Potentially pathogenic multidrug resistant VREs were detected in this study; this highlights the impact of extensive usage of antimicrobials in intensive animal rearing and its implications on public health cannot be undermined.

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Tatsing Foka, F. E., Ateba, C. N., & Lourenco, A. (2019). Detection of virulence genes in multidrug resistant enterococci isolated from feedlots dairy and beef cattle: Implications for human health and food safety. BioMed Research International, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/5921840

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