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Multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli from canine urinary tract infections tend to have commensal phylotypes, lower prevalence of virulence determinants and ampC-replicons

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-178
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Issue number3-4
Early online date13 Jan 2014
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2014


Multidrug-resistant E. coli is an emerging clinical challenge in domestic species. Treatment options in many cases are limited. This study characterised MDR E. coli isolates from urinary tract infections in dogs, collected between 2002 and 2011. Isolates were evaluated in terms of β-lactamase production, phylogenetic group, ST type, replicon type and virulence marker profile. Comparisons were made with antibiotic susceptible isolates also collected from dogs with urinary tract infections. AmpC β-lactamase was produced in 67% of the MDR isolates (12/18). Of these, 8 could be specifically attributed to the CMY-2 gene. None of the isolates tested in either group expressed ESBLs. Phylo-group distribution was as expected in the susceptible isolates, with an over representation of the pathogenic B2 phylo-group (67%). In contrast, the phylogenetic background for the MDR group was mixed, with representation of commensal phylo-groups A and B1. The B2 phylo-group represented the smallest proportion (A, B1, B2 or D was 28%, 22%, 11% and 33% respectively). Virulence marker profiles, evaluated using Identibac® microarray, discriminated between the two groups. Marker sequences for a core panel of virulence determinants were identified in most of the susceptible isolates, but not in most of the MDR isolates. These findings indicate that for MDR isolates, plasmid-mediated AmpC is an important resistance mechanism, and while still capable of causing clinical disease, there is evidence for a shift towards phylogenetic groups of reduced inferred virulence potential. There was no evidence of zoonotic potential in either the susceptible or MDR urinary tract isolates in this study.

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