Occurrence of plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance and virulence genes in avian Escherichia coli isolates from Algeria
Introduction: The emergence and spread of quinolone-resistant Escherichia coli in poultry products puts consumers at risk of exposure to the strains of E. coli that resist antibiotic treatment. The objective of this study was to define the prevalence and virulence potential of poultry-associated nalidixic acid (NAL)-resistant E. coli in the Annaba city, Algeria.
Methodology: In total, 33 samples of retail chicken meat were purchased from various butcher shops and examined for bacterial contamination with NAL-resistant E. coli. These isolates were subjected to antimicrobial susceptibility testing and were also investigated for the presence of plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance (PMQR) genes and virulence genes using conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and DNA sequencing. Phylogenetic grouping of the NAL-resistant E. coli isolates was determined by the conventional multiplex PCR method.
Results: Twenty-nine (87.8%) products yielded NAL-resistant E. coli. Antibiograms revealed that 96.55% of NAL-resistant E. coli isolates were multidrug resistant (MDR). Resistance was most frequently observed against sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim (96.6%), tetracycline (96.6%), ciprofloxacin (72%), and amoxicillin (65.5%). Group A was the most prevalent phylogenetic group, followed by groups D, B1, and B2. The PMQR determinants were detected in three isolates with qnrB72 and qnrS1 type identified. Four (13.8%) isolates carried one of the Shiga toxin E. coli-associated genes stx1, stx2, and ehxA alleles.
Conclusions: The high prevalence of NAL-resistant E. coli isolated from retail chicken meat with detection of MDR E. coli harboring Shiga toxin genes in this study gives a warning signal for possible occurrence of foodborne infections with failure in antibiotic treatment.
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