Genomic characterization of molecular markers associated with antimicrobial resistance and virulence of the prevalent Campylobacter coli isolated from retail chicken meat in the United Arab Emirates

Ihab Habib, Mohamed Yousif Ibrahim Mohamed, Akela Ghazawi, Glindya Bhagya Lakshmi, Mushtaq Khan, Dan Li, Shafi Sahibzada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Campylobacter is a major cause of gastroenteritis worldwide, with broiler meat accounting for most illnesses. Antimicrobial intervention is recommended in severe cases of campylobacteriosis. The emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Campylobacter is a concerning food safety challenge, and monitoring the trends of AMR is vital for a better risk assessment. This study aimed to characterize the phenotypic profiles and molecular markers of AMR and virulence in the prevalent Campylobacter species contaminating chilled chicken carcasses sampled from supermarkets in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Campylobacter was detected in 90 (28.6%) out of 315 tested samples, and up to five isolates from each were confirmed using multiplex PCR. The species C. coli was detected in 83% (75/90) of the positive samples. Whole-genome sequencing was used to characterize the determinants of AMR and potential virulence genes in 45 non-redundant C. coli isolates. We identified nine resistance genes, including four associated with resistance to aminoglycoside (aph(3′)-III, ant(6)-Ia, aph(2″)-Ib, and aac(6′)-Im), and three associated with Beta-lactam resistance (blaOXA-61, blaOXA-193, and blaOXA-489), and two linked to tetracycline resistance (tet(O/32/O), and tet(O)), as well as point mutations in gyrA (fluoroquinolones resistance), 23S rRNA (macrolides resistance), and rpsL (streptomycin resistance) genes. A mutation in gyrA 2 p.T86I, conferring resistance to fluoroquinolones, was detected in 93% (42/45) of the isolates and showed a perfect match with the phenotype results. The simultaneous presence of blaOXA-61 and blaOXA-193 genes was identified in 86.6% (39/45) of the isolates. In silico analysis identified 7 to 11 virulence factors per each C. coli isolate. Some of these factors were prevalent in all examined strains and were associated with adherence (cadF, and jlpA), colonization and immune evasion (capsule biosynthesis and transport, lipooligosaccharide), and invasion (ciaB). This study provides the first published evidence from the UAE characterizing Campylobacter virulence, antimicrobial resistance genotype, and phenotype analysis from retail chicken. The prevalent C. coli in the UAE retail chicken carries multiple virulence genes and antimicrobial resistance markers and exhibits frequent phenotype resistance to macrolides, quinolones, and tetracyclines. The present investigation adds to the current knowledge on molecular epidemiology and AMR development in non-jejuni Campylobacter species in the Middle East and globally.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100434
JournalCurrent Research in Food Science
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

Keywords

  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Campylobacter spp
  • Poultry
  • UAE
  • Whole-genome sequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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