Objectives: The objective of this study was to identify antimicrobial resistance and class 1 integrons among Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). Methods: Two-hundred and seventy-four STEC recovered from poultry, cattle, swine and humans were characterized by antimicrobial susceptibility testing, screened for the presence of class 1 integrons by PCR, and assayed for integron transfer by conjugation. Results: Ninety-three (34%) of the isolates were resistant to streptomycin, followed by 89 (32%) to sulfamethoxazole, 83 (30%) to tetracycline, 48 (18%) to ampicillin, 29 (11%) to cefalothin, 22 (8%) to trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, 18 (7%) to gentamicin, 13 (5%) to chloramphenicol and 10 (4%) to cefoxitin. Class 1 integrons were detected in 43 (16%) of the 274 isolates. The adenyl acetyltransferase gene, aadA, which confers resistance to streptomycin, was identified in integrons from 41 (95%) of these 43 isolates, and the dfrA12 gene, which confers resistance to trimethoprim, was identified in integrons from eight (19%) of the isolates. The sat1 gene, which confers resistance to streptothricin, an antimicrobial that has never been approved for use in the United States, was identified in integrons from three (7%) of the isolates. Transfer of integrons by conjugation between strains of E. coli resulted in transfer of antimicrobial-resistant phenotypes for ampicillin, chloramphenicol, cefalothin, gentamicin, tetracycline, trimethoprim, sulfamethoxazole and streptomycin. Conclusions: Antimicrobial resistance is common in STEC. Class 1 integrons located on mobile plasmids have facilitated the emergence and dissemination of antimicrobial resistance among STEC in humans and food animals.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases
- Pharmacology (medical)