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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2012 Jul;67(7):1639-44. doi: 10.1093/jac/dks126. Epub 2012 Apr 18.

Detection and characterization of pCT-like plasmid vectors for blaCTX-M-14 in Escherichia coli isolates from humans, turkeys and cattle in England and Wales.

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Department of Bacteriology, Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency, Addlestone, UK.



To detect and characterize Escherichia coli strains and pCT-like plasmids implicated in the dissemination of the CTX-M-14 gene in animals and humans, in England and Wales.


UK CTX-M-14-producing E. coli (n=70) from cattle (n=33), turkeys (n=9), sheep (n=2) and humans (n=26) were screened using multiplex PCR for the detection of a previously characterized plasmid, pCT. Isolates found to be carrying two or more pCT genetic markers were further analysed using PFGE. Their antimicrobial-resistance genes and virulence genes were also determined. These plasmids were transferred to Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium 26R and further examined for incompatibility type, genetic environment of the bla(CTX-M-14) gene, size, restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and nikB sequence.


The 25 E. coli isolates carrying pCT genetic markers generated 19 different PFGE profiles, and 23 isolates had different virulence and antimicrobial-resistance gene patterns. One isolate from cattle was a verotoxigenic E. coli ('VTEC'); the rest were commensal or extra-intestinal pathogenic E. coli. pCT-like plasmids with similar molecular characteristics (size, replicon type, RFLP pattern, pCT markers and genetic environment of the bla(CTX-M-14) gene) were detected in 21/25 of the field isolates, which comprised those from cattle (n=9), turkeys (n=8) and humans (n=4). All pCT-like plasmids were conjugative, and most were IncK (n=21) and had the same local genetic environment flanking the bla(CTX-M-14) gene (n=23). RFLP analysis demonstrated ≥ 75% similarity among most plasmids (n=22).


pCT-like plasmids were common vectors for horizontal dissemination of 30% of the bla(CTX-M-14) genes to different E. coli isolates from humans, cattle and turkeys.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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