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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2005 Mar;71(3):1184-92.

Acquisition of resistance to extended-spectrum cephalosporins by Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Newport and Escherichia coli in the turkey poult intestinal tract.

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  • 1Laboratory for Foodborne Zoonoses, Public Health Agency of Canada, 110 Stone Rd. West, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.


Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Newport resistant to the extended-spectrum cephalosporins (ESCs) and other antimicrobials causes septicemic salmonellosis in humans and animals and is increasingly isolated from humans, animals, foods, and environmental sources. Mechanisms whereby serovar Newport bacteria become resistant to ESCs and other classes of antimicrobials while inhabiting the intestinal tract are not well understood. The present study shows that 25.3% of serovar Newport strains isolated from the turkey poult intestinal tract after the animals were dosed with Escherichia coli harboring a large conjugative plasmid encoding the CMY-2 beta-lactamase and other drug resistance determinants acquired the plasmid and its associated drug resistance genes. The conjugative plasmid containing the cmy-2 gene was transferred not only from the donor E. coli to Salmonella serovar Newport but also to another E. coli serotype present in the intestinal tract. Laboratory studies showed that the plasmid could be readily transferred between serovar Newport and E. coli intestinal isolates. Administration of a single dose of ceftiofur, used to prevent septicemic colibacillosis, to 1-day-old turkeys did not result in the isolation of ceftiofur-resistant E. coli or Salmonella serovar Newport. There was a remarkable association between serotype, drug resistance, and plasmid profile among the E. coli strains isolated from the poults. This study shows that Salmonella serovar Newport can become resistant to ESCs and other antibiotics by acquiring a conjugative drug resistance plasmid from E. coli in the intestines.

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