Complete Genetic Analysis of Plasmids Carried by Two Nonclonal blaNDM-5- and mcr-1-Bearing Escherichia coli Strains : Insight into Plasmid Transmission among Foodborne Bacteria

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e0021721
Journal / PublicationMicrobiology spectrum
Online published1 Sep 2021
Publication statusOnline published - 1 Sep 2021

Abstract

Our objective was to characterize the genetic features of plasmids harbored by two genetically related, MCR-1 and NDM-5-producing Escherichia coli strains recovered from a chicken meat sample. The genetic profiles of all plasmids harbored by the two test strains, namely, 1106 and 1107, were determined by whole-genome sequencing, S1-pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), Southern hybridization, and bioinformatics analysis. The transferability of plasmids harbored by the two strains was assessed by filter mating assay. Strains 1106 and 1107 were resistant to almost all the antibiotics, including colistin and fosfomycin, but remained susceptible to amikacin and tigecycline. The plasmids of p1107-NDM-5 and p1106-NDM-5 both contain a class I integron which lacks the ISAba125 element. The backbone of p1106-IncFII exhibited a high degree of similarity with that of p1106-NDM-5 and p1107-NDM-5, implying that events of plasmid fusion and resolution were involved in the formation of the two plasmids. The plasmids p1106-IncHI2MCR and p1107-IncHI2MCR belong to an IncHI2 replicon type, with three copies of ISApl1 being observed in p1106-IncHI2MCR, implying that the mcr-1 gene was transferable among bacteria that reside in the same food matrix. In this study, p1106-IncFIB, p1107-99K, p1107-111K, and p1107-118K were all found to be phage-like plasmids, with p1106-IncFIB and p1107-118K containing several virulence genes, including iroBCDEN, iucABCD, sitABCD, hlyF, and iss. Surprisingly, resistance genes such as aph(3')-Ia, sul3, and aac(3')-IId could also be found in p1107-118K, but resistance genes were not detected in other phage-like plasmids. In conclusion, enhanced surveillance is required to monitor and control the dissemination of various resistance determinants among foodborne pathogens. 

IMPORTANCE Carbapenem and colistin are last-resort antibiotics used to treat serious clinical infections caused by multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacterial pathogens. Plasmids encoding resistance to carbapenems and colistin have been reported in clinical pathogens in recent years, and yet few studies reported cocarriage of mcr and blaNDM genes in Escherichia coli strains of food origin. How plasmids encoding these two important resistance determinants are being evolved and transmitted in bacterial pathogens is not well understood. In this study, we investigated the genetic features of plasmids harbored by two nonclonal, mcr-1- and blaNDM-5-bearing E. coli strains (1106 and 1107) recovered from a fresh chicken meat sample to understand and provide evidence of the level and dynamics of MDR plasmid transmission. Our data confirmed that active plasmid fusion and resolution events were involved in the formation of plasmids that harbor multiple resistance genes, which provide insights into the further control of plasmid evolution in bacterial pathogens.

Citation Format(s)

Complete Genetic Analysis of Plasmids Carried by Two Nonclonal blaNDM-5- and mcr-1-Bearing Escherichia coli Strains : Insight into Plasmid Transmission among Foodborne Bacteria. / Liu, Xiaobo; Li, Ruichao; Dong, Ning; Ye, Lianwei; Chan, Edward Wai-Chi; Chen, Sheng.

In: Microbiology spectrum, 01.09.2021, p. e0021721.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review