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      Occurrence of ESBL-Producing Escherichia coli in Livestock and Farm Workers in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany

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          In recent years, extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBL) producing bacteria have been found in livestock, mainly as asymptomatic colonizers. The zoonotic risk for people working in close contact to animal husbandry has still not been completely assessed. Therefore, we investigated the prevalence of ESBL-producing Escherichia spp. in livestock animals and workers to determine the potential risk for an animal-human cross-transmission.In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, northeast Germany, inguinal swabs of 73 individuals with livestock contact from 23 different farms were tested for ESBL-producing Escherichia spp. Two pooled fecal samples per farm of animal origin from 34 different farms (17 pig farms, 11 cattle farms, 6 poultry farms) as well as cloacal swabs of 10 randomly selected broilers or turkeys were taken at each poultry farm. For identification, selective chromogenic agar was used after an enrichment step. Phenotypically ESBL-producing isolates (n = 99) were tested for CTX-M, OXA, SHV and TEM using PCR, and isolates were further characterized using multilocus sequence typing (MLST). In total, 61 diverse isolates from different sources and/or different MLST/PCR results were acquired. Five farm workers (three from cattle farms and two from pig farms) harbored ESBL-producing E. coli. All human isolates harbored the CTX-M β-lactamase; TEM and OXA β-lactamases were additionally detected in two, resp. one, isolates. ESBL-producing Escherichia spp. were found in fecal samples at pig (15/17), cattle (6/11) and poultry farms (3/6). In total, 70.6% (24/36) of the tested farms were ESBL positive. Furthermore, 9 out of 60 cloacal swabs turned out to be ESBL positive. All isolated ESBL-producing bacteria from animal sources were E. coli, except for one E. hermanii isolate. CTX-M was the most prevalent β-lactamase at cattle and pig farms, while SHV predominated in poultry. One human isolate shared an identical MLST sequence type (ST) 3891 and CTX-M allele to the isolate found in the cattle fecal sample from the same farm, indicating a zoonotic transfer. Two other pairs of human-pig and human-cattle E. coli isolates encoded the same ESBL genes but did not share the same MLST ST, which may indicate horizontal resistance gene transfer. In summary, the study shows the high prevalence of ESBL-producing E. coli in livestock in Mecklenburg- Western Pomerania and provides the risk of transfer between livestock and farm workers.

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          Most cited references 37

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          Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae: an emerging public-health concern.

          The medical community relies on clinical expertise and published guidelines to assist physicians with choices in empirical therapy for system-based infectious syndromes, such as community-acquired pneumonia and urinary-tract infections (UTIs). From the late 1990s, multidrug-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (mostly Escherichia coli) that produce extended-spectrum beta lactamases (ESBLs), such as the CTX-M enzymes, have emerged within the community setting as an important cause of UTIs. Recent reports have also described ESBL-producing E coli as a cause of bloodstream infections associated with these community-onset UTIs. The carbapenems are widely regarded as the drugs of choice for the treatment of severe infections caused by ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae, although comparative clinical trials are scarce. Thus, more rapid diagnostic testing of ESBL-producing bacteria and the possible modification of guidelines for community-onset bacteraemia associated with UTIs are required.
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            Dutch patients, retail chicken meat and poultry share the same ESBL genes, plasmids and strains.

            Intestinal carriage of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) -producing bacteria in food-producing animals and contamination of retail meat may contribute to increased incidences of infections with ESBL-producing bacteria in humans. Therefore, distribution of ESBL genes, plasmids and strain genotypes in Escherichia coli obtained from poultry and retail chicken meat in the Netherlands was determined and defined as 'poultry-associated' (PA). Subsequently, the proportion of E. coli isolates with PA ESBL genes, plasmids and strains was quantified in a representative sample of clinical isolates. The E. coli were derived from 98 retail chicken meat samples, a prevalence survey among poultry, and 516 human clinical samples from 31 laboratories collected during a 3-month period in 2009. Isolates were analysed using an ESBL-specific microarray, sequencing of ESBL genes, PCR-based replicon typing of plasmids, plasmid multi-locus sequence typing (pMLST) and strain genotyping (MLST). Six ESBL genes were defined as PA (bla(CTX-M-1) , bla(CTX-M-2) , bla(SHV-2) , bla(SHV-12) , bla(TEM-20) , bla(TEM-52) ): 35% of the human isolates contained PA ESBL genes and 19% contained PA ESBL genes located on IncI1 plasmids that were genetically indistinguishable from those obtained from poultry (meat). Of these ESBL genes, 86% were bla(CTX-M-1) and bla(TEM-52) genes, which were also the predominant genes in poultry (78%) and retail chicken meat (75%). Of the retail meat samples, 94% contained ESBL-producing isolates of which 39% belonged to E. coli genotypes also present in human samples. These findings are suggestive for transmission of ESBL genes, plasmids and E. coli isolates from poultry to humans, most likely through the food chain. 2011 The Authors. Clinical Microbiology and Infection; 2011 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.
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              Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamase Genes of Escherichia coli in Chicken Meat and Humans, the Netherlands

              We determined the prevalence and characteristics of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) genes of Enterobacteriaceae in retail chicken meat and humans in the Netherlands. Raw meat samples were obtained, and simultaneous cross-sectional surveys of fecal carriage were performed in 4 hospitals in the same area. Human blood cultures from these hospitals that contained ESBL genes were included. A high prevalence of ESBL genes was found in chicken meat (79.8%). Genetic analysis showed that the predominant ESBL genes in chicken meat and human rectal swab specimens were identical. These genes were also frequently found in human blood culture isolates. Typing results of Escherichia coli strains showed a high degree of similarity with strains from meat and humans. These findings suggest that the abundant presence of ESBL genes in the food chain may have a profound effect on future treatment options for a wide range of infections caused by gram-negative bacteria.

                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                25 November 2015
                : 10
                : 11
                [1 ]Institute of Hygiene and Environmental Medicine, University Medicine Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany
                [2 ]Institute of Medical Diagnostics (IMD), Greifswald, Germany
                [3 ]Institute of Hygiene, University Hospital Münster, Münster, Germany
                Justus-Liebeig University Giessen, GERMANY
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: CD NOH A. Kramer. Performed the experiments: CD A. Kossow AM. Analyzed the data: CD NOH AM A. Kramer. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: A. Kramer AM. Wrote the paper: CD NOH AM A. Kramer KD.


                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited

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                Figures: 2, Tables: 3, Pages: 13
                Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Grant Number 01KQ1001E).
                Research Article
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