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Vet Microbiol. 2013 Mar 23;162(2-4):964-7. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2012.09.023. Epub 2012 Sep 29.

Plasmid-mediated fosfomycin resistance in Escherichia coli isolated from pig.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, China.


Previous studies have reported plasmid-mediated fosA3 among Escherichia coli originating from human and companion animals. In this study, the plasmid, designated pHK23a originating from a multidrug-resistant E. coli isolate recovered from a slaughter pig in December 2008 in Hong Kong, China was sequenced. In conjugation, the plasmid readily transferred to E. coli J53 at high frequencies. It belongs to the narrow host range IncFII incompatibility group and is 73,607 bp in length. Sequence alignment showed that pHK23a has a 59.1 kb backbone which shares high homology with the prototype R100 plasmid and a 14.5 kb variable region. The variable region includes three genes mediating antimicrobial resistance (fosA3, Δbla(TEM-1), bla(CTX-M-3)), ten mobile genetic elements (four copies of IS26, insA, ΔinsB, ΔTn2, IS1, ΔISEcp1, Δintl1), the tir transfer inhibition protein, the pemI/pemK addiction system and eight ORFs of unknown functions (orf1, orf2, Δorf3, orf20, orf23, orf24, ycdA and ycdB). The three resistance genes were organized in a novel IS26-composite transposon-like structure. In conclusion, this is the first report of fosA3 containing plasmid in an isolate of pig origin. Since IncFII plasmids spread efficiently in Enterobacteriaceae, the detection of fosA3 with bla(CTX-M) is worrisome and might become a public health concern.

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