Diverse Fluoroquinolone Resistance Plasmids From Retail Meat E. coli in the United States

Fluoroquinolones are used to treat serious bacterial infections, including those caused by Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica. The emergence of plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance (PMQR) represent a new challenge to the successful treatment of Gram-negative infections. As part of a long-term strategy to generate a reference database of closed plasmids from antimicrobial resistant foodborne bacteria, we performed long-read sequencing of 11 E. coli isolates from retail meats that were non-susceptible to ciprofloxacin. Each of the isolates had PMQR genes, including qnrA1, qnrS1, and qnrB19. The four qnrB19 genes were carried on two distinct ColE-type plasmids among isolates from pork chop and ground turkey and were identical to plasmids previously identified in Salmonella. Seven other plasmids differed from any other sequences in GenBank and comprised IncF and IncR plasmids that ranged in size from 48 to 180 kb. These plasmids also contained different combinations of resistance genes, including those conferring resistance to beta-lactams, macrolides, sulfonamides, tetracycline, and heavy metals. Although relatively few isolates have PMQR genes, the identification of diverse plasmids in multiple retail meat sources suggests the potential for further spread of fluoroquinolone resistance, including through co-selection. These results highlight the value of long-read sequencing in characterizing antimicrobial resistance genes of public health concern.
Source: Frontiers in Microbiology - Category: Microbiology Source Type: research

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