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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2015

Authors: Shousha, A; Awaiwanont, N; Sofka, D; Smulders, FJ; Paulsen, P; Szostak, MP; Humphrey, T; Hilbert, F

Title: Bacteriophages Isolated from Chicken Meat and the Horizontal Transfer of Antimicrobial Resistance Genes.

Source: Appl Environ Microbiol. 2015; 81(14):4600-4606



Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Hilbert Friederike
Paulsen Peter
Smulders Franciscus
Sofka Dmitri
Szostak Michael

Vetmed Research Units
Institute of Microbiology
Institute of Food Safety, Food Technology and Veterinary Public Health, Unit of Food Hygiene and Technology


Abstract:
Antimicrobial resistance in microbes poses a global and increasing threat to public health. The horizontal transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes was thought to be due largely to conjugative plasmids or transposons, with only a minor part being played by transduction through bacteriophages. However, whole-genome sequencing has recently shown that the latter mechanism could be highly important in the exchange of antimicrobial resistance genes between microorganisms and environments. The transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes by phages could underlie the origin of resistant bacteria found in food. We show that chicken meat carries a number of phages capable of transferring antimicrobial resistance. Of 243 phages randomly isolated from chicken meat, about a quarter (24.7%) were able to transduce resistance to one or more of the five antimicrobials tested into Escherichia coli ATCC 13706 (DSM 12242). Resistance to kanamycin was transduced the most often, followed by that to chloramphenicol, with four phages transducing tetracycline resistance and three transducing ampicillin resistance. Phages able to transduce antimicrobial resistance were isolated from 44% of the samples of chicken meat that we tested. The statistically significant (P = 0.01) relationship between the presence of phages transducing kanamycin resistance and E. coli isolates resistant to this antibiotic suggests that transduction may be an important mechanism for transferring kanamycin resistance to E. coli. It appears that the transduction of resistance to certain antimicrobials, e.g., kanamycin, not only is widely distributed in E. coli isolates found on meat but also could represent a major mechanism for resistance transfer. The result is of high importance for animal and human health.

Keywords Pubmed: Animals
Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology
Bacteriophages/genetics*
Bacteriophages/metabolism
Chickens
Drug Resistance, Bacterial
Escherichia coli/drug effects
Escherichia coli/genetics*
Escherichia coli/metabolism
Escherichia coli/virology*
Escherichia coli Proteins/genetics
Escherichia coli Proteins/metabolism
Gene Transfer, Horizontal*
Humans
Meat/microbiology
Meat/virology*
Transduction, Genetic


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