Browsing Articles and other publications by RIVM employees by Subjects
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Diversity of Plasmids and Genes Encoding Resistance to Extended Spectrum Cephalosporins in Commensal From Dutch Livestock in 2007-2017.Extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) and plasmid-mediated AmpC β-lactamase (pAmpC) genes confer resistance to extended spectrum cephalosporin's. The spread of these genes is mostly facilitated by plasmid-mediated horizontal transfer. National surveillance activities to detect ESBL/pAmpC-producers in commensal bacteria from livestock are in place in the Netherlands since several years. This study aimed at reporting gene and plasmid diversity of commensal ESBL/pAmpC-producing Escherichia coli isolated from healthy animals during surveillance activities between 2007 and 2017. A collection of 2304 extended-spectrum cephalosporin-resistant (ESC-R) E. coli isolated from feces of broilers, dairy cattle, slaughter pigs, turkeys, ducks, and veal calves was investigated and ESBL/pAmpC genes were determined. Gene location of a selection of 473 E. coli isolates was determined and typing of plasmids linked to the ESBL/pAmpC genes was performed. Twenty-two different ESBL/pAmpC genes were identified with blaCTX-M-1 being the most prevalent gene in livestock (43.7%), followed by blaCMY -2 and blaSHV -12, independent of the animal source. Prevalence of typically human associated blaCTX-M-15 was highest in cattle. Less than 10% E. coli isolates owed their ESC-R phenotype to promoter mutations of the chromosomal ampC gene. Majority (92%) of ESBL/pAmpC genes analyzed were plasmid located, with IncI1α being the most represented plasmid family in isolates from all animals, followed by IncF (veal calves, dairy cattle and slaughter pigs), IncK (broilers and laying hens), IncX1 in broilers, and emerging IncX3 in broilers and dairy cattle. Prevalence and molecular diversity of ESC-R E. coli isolated from livestock over an 11-year period revealed a composite scenario of gene-plasmid combinations.
The Plasmidome as a Reservoir of Antibiotic Resistance.The emergence of multidrug-resistant bacterial strains worldwide has become a serious problem for public health over recent decades. The increase in antimicrobial resistance has been expanding via plasmids as mobile genetic elements encoding antimicrobial resistance (AMR) genes that are transferred vertically and horizontally. This study focuses on Salmonella enterica, one of the leading foodborne pathogens in industrialized countries. S. enterica is known to carry several plasmids involved not only in virulence but also in AMR. In the current paper, we present an integrated strategy to detect plasmid scaffolds in whole genome sequencing (WGS) assemblies. We developed a two-step procedure to predict plasmids based on i) the presence of essential elements for plasmid replication and mobility, as well as ii) sequence similarity to a reference plasmid. Next, to confirm the accuracy of the prediction in 1750 S. enterica short-read sequencing data, we combined Oxford Nanopore MinION long-read sequencing with Illumina MiSeq short-read sequencing in hybrid assemblies for 84 isolates to evaluate the proportion of plasmid that has been detected. At least one scaffold with an origin of replication (ORI) was predicted in 61.3% of the Salmonella isolates tested. The results indicated that IncFII and IncI1 ORIs were distributed in many S. enterica serotypes and were the most prevalent AMR genes carrier, whereas IncHI2A/IncHI2 and IncA/C2 were more serotype restricted but bore several AMR genes. Comparison between hybrid and short-read assemblies revealed that 81.1% of plasmids were found in the short-read sequencing using our pipeline. Through this process, we established that plasmids are prevalent in S. enterica and we also substantially expand the AMR genes in the resistome of this species.
Successful Host Adaptation of IncK2 Plasmids.The IncK plasmid group can be divided into two separate lineages named IncK1 and IncK2. IncK2 is found predominantly in poultry while IncK1 was reported in various mammals, including animals and humans. The physiological basis of this distinction is not known. In this manuscript we examined fitness cost of IncK1 and IncK2 plasmids at 37 and 42°C, which resembles mammalian and chicken body temperatures, respectively. We analyzed conjugation frequency, plasmid copy number and plasmid fitness cost in direct competition. Additionally, we measured levels of σ-32 in Escherichia coli carrying either wild type or conjugation-deficient IncK plasmids. The results show that IncK2 plasmids have a higher conjugation frequency and lower copy number at 42°C compared to IncK1. While the overall fitness cost to the host bacterium of IncK2 plasmids was higher than that of IncK1, it was not affected by the temperature while the fitness cost of IncK1 was shown to increase at 42°C compared to 37°C. These differences correlate with an increased expression of σ-32, a regulator of heat-shock protein expression, in E. coli with IncK2 compared to cells containing IncK1. This effect was not seen in cells containing conjugation deficient plasmids. Therefore, it is hypothesized that the assembly of the functional T4S may lead to these increased levels of σ-32. Increased activation of CpxR at 42°C may explain why IncK2 plasmids, and not IncK1, are predominantly found in chicken isolates.