Domestic Pets in the United Arab Emirates as Reservoirs for Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria: A Comprehensive Analysis of Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamase Producing Escherichia coli Prevalence and Risk Factors

Ihab Habib, Khaja Mohteshamuddin, Mohamed Yousif Ibrahim Mohamed, Glindya Bhagya Lakshmi, Afra Abdalla, Abdulla Bakhit Ali Alkaabi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Extended-spectrum β-lactamases resistant (ESBL-R) Escherichia coli (E. coli) has been reported from healthy and sick pets. However, data from Middle Eastern countries, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), are minimal. This study provides the first evidence of ESBL-R E. coli carriage among pets in the UAE. A total of 148 rectal swabs were collected from domestic cats (n = 122) and dogs (n = 26) attending five animal clinics in the UAE. Samples were cultured directly onto selective agar, and suspected colonies were confirmed as ESBL-producing using phenotypic and molecular methods. Confirmed isolates were screened for their phenotypic resistance to twelve antimicrobial agents using the Kirby Bauer method. The owners of the pets completed a questionnaire at the time of sampling, and the data were used to identify risk factors. ESBL-R E. coli was detected in rectal swabs of 35 out of 148 animals (23.65%) (95% confidence interval [CI]: 17.06–31.32). Multivariable logistic regression analysis identified cats and dogs with access to water in ditches and puddles as 3.71 (p-value = 0.020) times more likely to be positive to ESBL-R E. coli than those without access to open water sources. Ciprofloxacin resistance was evident in 57.14% (44/77) of the ESBL-R E. coli isolates. The percentage of resistance to azithromycin and cefepime was 12.99% (10/77) and 48.05% (37/77), respectively. The blaCTX-M gene was detected in 82% of the PCR-screened isolates (n = 50). Multidrug resistance (MDR) phenotypes were evident in 91% (70/77) of the isolates. In conclusion, ESBL-R E. coli was detected at a noticeable rate among healthy pet cats and dogs in the UAE, and the majority are MDR to clinically important antimicrobials such as fluoroquinolones and 3rd and 4th generation cephalosporins. Our results call for strengthening antimicrobial stewardship among companion animal veterinarians in the UAE to reduce the potential transmission of ESBL-R E. coli between pets, humans, and urban environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1587
JournalAnimals
Volume13
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2023

Keywords

  • ESBL
  • Middle East
  • antimicrobial resistance
  • cats
  • dogs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • General Veterinary

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Domestic Pets in the United Arab Emirates as Reservoirs for Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria: A Comprehensive Analysis of Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamase Producing Escherichia coli Prevalence and Risk Factors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this