The Molecular Epidemiology of Resistance in Cefotaximase-Producing Escherichia coli Clinical Isolates from Dublin, Ireland.
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In view of continued high clinical prevalence of infections involving extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli, this study sought to characterise the blaCTX-M genes, their associated mobile genetic elements and the integrons present in 100 ESBL-producing E. coli isolates collected in a Dublin hospital and associated community healthcare facilities. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) mapping and sequencing was used to detect blaCTX-M alleles, their associated insertion sequences (ISs) and class 1 and 2 integrons in the collection. ESBL plasmids were characterised by PCR-based replicon typing and replicon sequence typing (RST). Cefotaximases were harboured by 94% of isolates (66 blaCTX-M-15, 8 blaCTX-M-14, 7 blaCTX-M-1, 4 blaCTX-M-3, 3 blaCTX-M-9, 2 blaCTX-M-27, 2 blaCTX-M-55, 1 blaCTX-M-32 and 1 blaCTX-M-2). An ISEcp1 promoter was linked to a group 1 blaCTX-M gene in 45% of isolates. A further 34% of isolates contained blaCTX-M-15 downstream of IS26, an arrangement typical of epidemic UK strain A. Class 1 integrons were found in 66% of isolates, most carrying trimethoprim/aminoglycoside resistance genes. CTX-M plasmids were primarily of multireplicon IncF or IncI1 type, but IncN and unidentified types were also found. Novel IncF RSTs F1:A-:B-, F45:A1:B-, F45:A4:B- and a novel IncI1 sequence type, ST159, were identified. CTX-M plasmids and integrons resembled those identified recently in animal isolates from Ireland and Western Europe. The molecular epidemiology of CTX-M-producing E. coli in Dublin suggests that horizontal spread of mobile genetic elements contributes to antimicrobial resistant human infections. Further investigations into whether animals or animal products represent an important local reservoir for these elements are warranted.