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PLoS One. 2011;6(7):e22451. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0022451. Epub 2011 Jul 19.

Dogs leaving the ICU carry a very large multi-drug resistant enterococcal population with capacity for biofilm formation and horizontal gene transfer.

Author information

1
Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, United States of America.

Abstract

The enterococcal community from feces of seven dogs treated with antibiotics for 2-9 days in the veterinary intensive care unit (ICU) was characterized. Both, culture-based approach and culture-independent 16S rDNA amplicon 454 pyrosequencing, revealed an abnormally large enterococcal community: 1.4±0.8×10(8) CFU gram(-1) of feces and 48.9±11.5% of the total 16,228 sequences, respectively. The diversity of the overall microbial community was very low which likely reflects a high selective antibiotic pressure. The enterococcal diversity based on 210 isolates was also low as represented by Enterococcus faecium (54.6%) and Enterococcus faecalis (45.4%). E. faecium was frequently resistant to enrofloxacin (97.3%), ampicillin (96.5%), tetracycline (84.1%), doxycycline (60.2%), erythromycin (53.1%), gentamicin (48.7%), streptomycin (42.5%), and nitrofurantoin (26.5%). In E. faecalis, resistance was common to tetracycline (59.6%), erythromycin (56.4%), doxycycline (53.2%), and enrofloxacin (31.9%). No resistance was detected to vancomycin, tigecycline, linezolid, and quinupristin/dalfopristin in either species. Many isolates carried virulence traits including gelatinase, aggregation substance, cytolysin, and enterococcal surface protein. All E. faecalis strains were biofilm formers in vitro and this phenotype correlated with the presence of gelE and/or esp. In vitro intra-species conjugation assays demonstrated that E. faecium were capable of transferring tetracycline, doxycycline, streptomycin, gentamicin, and erythromycin resistance traits to human clinical strains. Multi-locus variable number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) of E. faecium strains showed very low genotypic diversity. Interestingly, three E. faecium clones were shared among four dogs suggesting their nosocomial origin. Furthermore, multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) of nine representative MLVA types revealed that six sequence types (STs) originating from five dogs were identical or closely related to STs of human clinical isolates and isolates from hospital outbreaks. It is recommended to restrict close physical contact between pets released from the ICU and their owners to avoid potential health risks.

PMID:
21811613
PMCID:
PMC3139645
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0022451
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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