Objectives: This study aimed to compare ESBL-producing Escherichia coli causing infections in humans with infecting or commensal isolates from animals and isolates from food of animal origin in terms of the strain types, the ESBL gene present and the plasmids that carry the respective ESBL genes.
Methods: A collection of 353 ESBL-positive E. coli isolates from the UK, the Netherlands and Germany were studied by MLST and ESBL genes were identified. Characterization of ESBL gene-carrying plasmids was performed using PCR-based replicon typing. Moreover, IncI1-Iγ and IncN plasmids were characterized by plasmid MLST.
Results: The ESBL-producing E. coli represented 158 different STs with ST131, ST10 and ST88 being the most common. Overall, blaCTX-M-1 was the most frequently detected ESBL gene, followed by blaCTX-M-15, which was the most common ESBL gene in the human isolates. The most common plasmid replicon type overall was IncI1-Iγ followed by multiple IncF replicons.
Conclusions: ESBL genes were present in a wide variety of E. coli STs. IncI1-Iγ plasmids that carried the blaCTX-M-1 gene were widely disseminated amongst STs in isolates from animals and humans, whereas other plasmids and STs appeared to be more restricted to isolates from specific hosts.
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