Ceftriaxone-resistant salmonella infection acquired by a child from cattle

N Engl J Med. 2000 Apr 27;342(17):1242-9. doi: 10.1056/NEJM200004273421703.


Background: The emergence of resistance to antimicrobial agents within the salmonellae is a worldwide problem that has been associated with the use of antibiotics in livestock. Resistance to ceftriaxone and the fluoroquinolones, which are used to treat invasive salmonella infections, is rare in the United States. We analyzed the molecular characteristics of a ceftriaxone-resistant strain of Salmonella enterica serotype typhimurium isolated from a 12-year-old boy with fever, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

Methods: We used pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and analysis of plasmids and beta-lactamases to compare the ceftriaxone-resistant S. enterica serotype typhimurium from the child with four isolates of this strain obtained from cattle during a local outbreak of salmonellosis.

Results: The ceftriaxone-resistant isolate from the child was indistinguishable from one of the isolates from cattle, which was also resistant to ceftriaxone. Both ceftriaxone-resistant isolates were resistant to 13 antimicrobial agents; all but one of the resistance determinants were on a conjugative plasmid of 160 kb that encoded the functional group 1 beta-lactamase CMY-2. Both ceftriaxone-resistant isolates were closely related to the three other salmonella isolates obtained from cattle, all of which were susceptible to ceftriaxone.

Conclusions: This study provides additional evidence that antibiotic-resistant strains of salmonella in the United States evolve primarily in livestock. Resistance to ceftriaxone, the drug of choice for invasive salmonella disease, is a public health concern, especially with respect to children, since fluoroquinolones, which can also be used to treat this disease, are not approved for use in children.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Bacteriophage Typing
  • Cattle / microbiology*
  • Ceftriaxone* / therapeutic use
  • Cephalosporin Resistance*
  • Cephalosporins* / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Diarrhea / microbiology*
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Pulsed-Field
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • Salmonella Infections / drug therapy
  • Salmonella Infections / microbiology
  • Salmonella Infections / transmission*
  • Salmonella enterica / classification*
  • Salmonella enterica / genetics
  • Salmonella enterica / isolation & purification
  • Serotyping
  • Veterinary Drugs
  • beta-Lactamases / genetics
  • beta-Lactamases / isolation & purification


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Cephalosporins
  • Veterinary Drugs
  • Ceftriaxone
  • beta-Lactamases