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Pathotype and antibiotic resistance gene distributions of Escherichia coli isolates from broiler chickens raised on antimicrobial-supplemented diets

Bonnet, C., Diarrassouba, F., Brousseau, R., Masson, L., Topp, E., Diarra, M.S. (2009). Pathotype and antibiotic resistance gene distributions of Escherichia coli isolates from broiler chickens raised on antimicrobial-supplemented diets, 75(22), 6955-6962. http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AEM.00375-09

Abstract

The impact of feed supplementation with bambermycin, monensin, narasin, virginiamycin, chlortetracycline, penicillin, salinomycin, and bacitracin on the distribution of Escherichia coli pathotypes in broiler chickens was investigated using an E. coli virulence DNA microarray. Among 256 E. coli isolates examined, 59 (23%) were classified as potentially extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC), while 197 (77%) were considered commensal. Except for chlortetracycline treatment, the pathotype distribution was not significantly different among treatments (P > 0.05). Within the 59 ExPEC isolates, 44 (75%) were determined to be potentially avian pathogenic E. coli (APEC), with the remaining 15 (25%) considered potentially "other" ExPEC isolates. The distribution within phylogenetic groups showed that 52 (88%) of the ExPEC isolates belonged to groups B2 and D, with the majority of APEC isolates classified as group D and most commensal isolates (170, 86%) as group A or B1. Indirect assessment of the presence of the virulence plasmid pAPEC-O2-ColV showed a strong association of the plasmid with APEC isolates. Among the 256 isolates, 224 (88%) possessed at least one antimicrobial resistance gene, with nearly half (107, 42%) showing multiple resistance genes. The majority of resistance genes were distributed among commensal isolates. Considering that the simultaneous detection of antimicrobial resistance tet(A), sulI, and blaTEM genes and the integron class I indicated a potential presence of the resistance pAPEC-O2-R plasmid, the results revealed that 35 (14%) of the isolates, all commensals, possessed this multigene resistance plasmid. The virulence plasmid was never found in combination with the antimicrobial resistance plasmid. The presence of the ColV plasmid or the combination of iss and tsh genes in the majority of APEC isolates supports the notion that when found together, the plasmid, iss, and tsh serve as good markers for APEC. These data indicate that different resistant E. coli pathotypes can be found in broiler chickens and that the distribution of such pathotypes and certain virulence determinants could be modulated by antimicrobial agent feed supplementation.

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