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Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2011 Dec;8(12):1289-94. doi: 10.1089/fpd.2011.0944. Epub 2011 Sep 1.

Characterization of bla(CMY)-encoding plasmids among Salmonella isolated in the United States in 2007.

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  • 1Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30329, USA.


Salmonella enterica is one of the most common bacterial causes of foodborne illness, and nontyphoidal Salmonella is estimated to cause ∼1.2 million illnesses in the United States each year. Plasmids are mobile genetic elements that play a critical role in the dissemination of antimicrobial resistance determinants. AmpC-type CMY β-lactamases (bla(CMY)) confer resistance to extended-spectrum cephalosporins and β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitor combinations and are commonly plasmid-encoded. A variety of plasmids have been shown to encode CMY β-lactamases and certain plasmids may be associated with particular Salmonella serotypes or environmental sources. In this study, we characterized bla(CMY) β-lactamase-encoding plasmids among Salmonella isolates. Isolates of Salmonella from specimens collected from humans in 2007 were submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System laboratory for susceptibility testing. Three percent (65/2161) of Salmonella isolates displayed resistance to ceftriaxone (minimum inhibitory concentration [MIC] ≥4 mg/L) and amoxicillin/clavulanic acid (MIC ≥32 mg/L), a combination associated with the presence of a bla(CMY) mechanism of resistance. Sixty-four (98.5%) isolates were polymerase chain reaction-positive for bla(CMY) genes. Transformation and conjugation studies showed that 95% (61/64) of the bla(CMY) genes were plasmid-encoded. Most of the bla(CMY)-positive isolates were serotype Typhimurium, Newport, Heidelberg, and Agona. Forty-three plasmids were replicon type IncA/C, 15 IncI1, 2 contained multiple replicon loci, and 1 was untypeable. IncI1 plasmids conferred only the bla(CMY)-associated resistance phenotype, whereas IncA/C plasmids conferred additional multi-drug resistance (MDR) phenotypes to drugs such as chloramphenicol, sulfisoxazole, and tetracycline. Most of the IncI1 plasmids (12/15) were sequence type 12 by plasmid multi-locus sequence typing. CMY β-lactamase-encoding plasmids among human isolates of Salmonella in the United States tended to be large MDR IncA/C plasmids or single resistance determinant IncI1 plasmids. In general, IncI1 plasmids were identified among serotypes commonly associated with poultry, whereas IncA/C plasmids were more likely to be identified among cattle/beef-associated serotypes.

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