The Pheno- and Genotypic Characterization of Porcine Escherichia coli Isolates

in: Microorganisms (2021)
Bernreiter-Hofer, Tanja; Schwarz, Lukas; Müller, Elke; Cabal-Rosel, Adriana; Korus, Maciej ; Misic, Dusan; Frankenfeld, Katrin; Abraham, Kerstin; Grünzweil, Olivia M.; Weiss, Astrid; Feßler, Andrea T.; Allerberger, Franz; Schwarz, Stefan; Szostak, Michael P.; Ruppitsch, Werner; Ladinig, Andrea; Spergser, Joachim; Braun, Sascha D.; Monecke, Stefan; Ehricht, Ralf; Loncaric, Igor
Escherichia (E.) coli is the main causative pathogen of neonatal and post-weaning diarrhea and edema disease in swine production. There is a significant health concern due to an increasing number of human infections associated with food and/or environmental-borne pathogenic and multidrug-resistant E. coli worldwide. Monitoring the presence of pathogenic and antimicrobialresistant E. coli isolates is essential for sustainable disease management in livestock and human medicine. A total of 102 E. coli isolates of diseased pigs were characterized by antimicrobial and biocide susceptibility testing. Antimicrobial resistance genes, including mobile colistin resistance genes, were analyzed by PCR and DNA sequencing. The quinolone resistance-determining regions of gyrA and parC in ciprofloxacin-resistant isolates were analyzed. Clonal relatedness was investigated by two-locus sequence typing (CH clonotyping). Phylotyping was performed by the Clermont multiplex PCR method. Virulence determinants were analyzed by customized DNA-based microarray technology developed in this study for fast and economic molecular multiplex typing. Thirty-five isolates were selected for whole-genome sequence-based analysis. Most isolates were resistant to ampicillin and tetracycline. Twenty-one isolates displayed an ESBL phenotype and one isolate an AmpC _-lactamase-producing phenotype. Three isolates had elevated colistin minimal inhibitory concentrations and carried the mcr-1 gene. Thirty-seven isolates displayed a multi-drug resistance phenotype. The most predominant _-lactamase gene classes were blaTEM-1 (56%) and blaCTX-M-1 (13.71%). Mutations in QRDR were observed in 14 ciprofloxacin-resistant isolates. CH clonotyping divided all isolates into 51 CH clonotypes. The majority of isolates belonged to phylogroup A. Sixty-four isolates could be assigned to defined pathotypes wherefrom UPEC was predominant. WGS revealed that the most predominant sequence type was ST100, followed by ST10. ST131 was detected twice in our analysis. This study highlights the importance of monitoring antimicrobial resistance and virulence properties of porcine E. coli isolates. This can be achieved by applying reliable, fast, economic and easy to perform technologies such as DNA-based microarray typing. The presence of high-risk pathogenic multi-drug resistant zoonotic clones, as well as those that are resistant to critically important antibiotics for humans, can pose a risk to public health. Improved protocols may be developed in swine farms for preventing infections, as well as the maintenance and distribution of the causative isolates.

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