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Vet Microbiol. 2007 Oct 6;124(3-4):248-55. Epub 2007 Apr 24.

Characteristics of extended-spectrum cephalosporin-resistant Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates from horses.

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  • 1Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, PO Box 80165, 3508 TD Utrecht, The Netherlands.


The aim of the present study was to contribute to the knowledge on extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBL's), AmpC beta-lactamases and integrons in Enterobacteriaceae isolated from horses, which is still limited. The susceptibility of 1581 clinical isolates from animals to ceftiofur was tested. Most of these isolates (n=1347) originated from horses. Seven ceftiofur-resistant equine isolates (four Escherichia coli and three Klebsiella pneumoniae) were identified and all seven were multidrug-resistant. These isolates were further studied for the presence of ESBL's, AmpC beta-lactamases and class 1 integrons. The potential for the horizontal transfer of resistance genes among these clinical isolates was also studied. ESBL-type resistance genes were found in five isolates, AmpC-type genes in one isolates and integrons in six isolates. Nucleotide sequence analysis revealed that the isolates carried the bla(CTX-M-1), bla(CMY-2), bla(TEM-1) and/or bla(SHV-1) genes. This is the first report describing the in vitro conjugal transfer of the bla(CTX-M-1) genes from a clinical E. coli isolate to Salmonella isolates. Gene cassettes encoding resistance to aminoglycosides (aadA1, aadA2 and aadA5), and trimethoprim (dfrA1, drfA12 and dfrA17) were found on the integrons present in the isolates. The cassette arrays of the dfrA17-aadA5 and dfrA1-aadA1 genes in the two integrons of a single E. coli isolate have not yet been described before. To our knowledge this is the first report on ESBL's and AmpC beta-lactamases in equine E. coli and Klebsiella isolates.

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