First Report of Colistin-Resistant Escherichia coli Carrying mcr-1 IncI2(delta) and IncX4 Plasmids from Camels (Camelus dromedarius) in the Gulf Region

Akela Ghazawi, Nikolaos Strepis, Febin Anes, Dana Yaaqeib, Amal Ahmed, Aysha AlHosani, Mirah AlShehhi, Ashrat Manzoor, Ihab Habib, Nisar A. Wani, John P. Hays, Mushtaq Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Addressing the emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) poses a significant challenge in veterinary and public health. In this study, we focused on determining the presence, phenotypic background, and genetic epidemiology of plasmid-mediated colistin resistance (mcr) in Escherichia coli bacteria isolated from camels farmed in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Fecal samples were collected from 50 camels at a Dubai-based farm in the UAE and colistin-resistant Gram-negative bacilli were isolated using selective culture. Subsequently, a multiplex PCR targeting a range of mcr-genes, plasmid profiling, and whole-genome sequencing (WGS) were conducted. Eleven of fifty camel fecal samples (22%) yielded colonies positive for E. coli isolates carrying the mcr-1 gene on mobile genetic elements. No other mcr-gene variants and no chromosomally located colistin resistance genes were detected. Following plasmid profiling and WGS, nine E. coli isolates from eight camels were selected for in-depth analysis. E. coli sequence types (STs) identified included ST7, ST21, ST24, ST399, ST649, ST999, and STdaa2. Seven IncI2(delta) and two IncX4 plasmids were found to be associated with mcr-1 carriage in these isolates. These findings represent the first identification of mcr-1-carrying plasmids associated with camels in the Gulf region. The presence of mcr-1 in camels from this region was previously unreported and serves as a novel finding in the field of AMR surveillance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number227
JournalAntibiotics
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024

Keywords

  • Escherichia coli
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • camels
  • mcr-1 gene
  • plasmids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Biochemistry
  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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