Sharing more than friendship - transmission of NDM-5 ST167 and CTX-M-9 ST69 Escherichia coli between dogs and humans in a family, Finland, 2015

Euro Surveill. 2018 Jul;23(27):1700497. doi: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2018.23.27.1700497.


IntroductionCarbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) have rarely been reported in dogs, and never in animals in Finland. However, in April 2015, two meropenem-resistant Escherichia coli were identified from two dogs in one family. Both dogs suffered from chronic otitis externa. Methods: Epidemiological and molecular investigations (pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), multilocus sequence typing) were conducted to investigate the source of infection and transmission routes. Results: In both dogs and one family member New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM-5)-producing multidrug-resistant ST167 E. coli was found. Whole genome sequencing confirmed that the isolates were identical or only had one or two allelic differences. Additionally, the dogs and humans of the family carried an identical extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) CTX-M-group 9 E. coli ST69 strain, indicating interspecies transmission. While the original source remains unclear, human-to-canine transmission is possible. No carbapenems had been administered to the dogs, but exposure to numerous other antimicrobials likely sustained the bacteria and supported its propagation in the canine host. Conclusion: To our knowledge, canine clinical NDM-5 E. coli in Europe, and confirmed CPE transmission between dogs and humans have not been previously reported. The screening of veterinary Enterobacteriaceae isolates for carbapenem resistance is highly recommended.

Keywords: antimicrobial resistance; antimicrobial use; carbapenemase; zoonoses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carbapenems / pharmacology
  • Dogs
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Pulsed-Field
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Escherichia coli / enzymology
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / isolation & purification*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / diagnosis*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / microbiology
  • Escherichia coli Infections / transmission*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / veterinary
  • Finland
  • Friends
  • Humans
  • Multilocus Sequence Typing
  • Pets*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Whole Genome Sequencing
  • beta-Lactamases / drug effects
  • beta-Lactamases / genetics*
  • beta-Lactamases / isolation & purification


  • Carbapenems
  • beta lactamase NDM-5, E coli
  • beta-Lactamases
  • beta-lactamase NDM-1