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Jpn J Infect Dis. 2017 Sep 25;70(5):590-592. doi: 10.7883/yoken.JJID.2016.572. Epub 2017 Jul 1.

First Detection of an Escherichia coli Strain Harboring the mcr-1 Gene in Retail Domestic Chicken Meat in Japan.

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Department of Health and Medical Sciences, Shinshu University Graduate School of Medicine.
Department of Pathophysiological Laboratory Science, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine.
Department of Bacteriology, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine.


Global spread of the plasmid-mediated colistin resistance gene, mcr-1 poses a challenge to public health because colistin is the last-line-of-defense against severe infections of multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria. In Japan, a few studies have reported the prevalence of mcr-1 among food animal-derived Escherichia coli isolates, but the prevalence of mcr-1 in retail meats is not well known. We report here the first detection of mcr-1 in retail chicken meat. A total of 70 extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing E. coli isolates, recovered from retail chicken meats between August 2015 and June 2016, were screened for mcr-1. We found 1 CTX-M-1 beta-lactamase-producing E. coli isolate belonging to ST1684, phylogroup A. The mcr-1 gene was not located on an IncI1 plasmid encoding the blaCTX-M-1 gene. However, whole plasmid sequencing revealed that mcr-1 was located on an IncI2 plasmid. The sequences of the nikB-mcr-1-pap2-ydfA-topB region of the IncI2 plasmid in this study was almost identical to that of the previously described IncI2 plasmid, pECJS-61-63 present in E. coli isolated from pig feces in China, except for containing a synonymous mutation in the mcr-1 gene. Plasmid carrying the mcr-1 gene have not yet been identified in human isolates in Japan. Thus, strict monitoring or surveillance of colistin resistance among Gram-negative bacteria recovered from retail meat of food animals under colistin pressure, and humans, is crucial.


Escherichia coli; chicken meat; mcr-1

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