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High prevalence of plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance (PMQR) among E. coli from aquatic environments in Bangladesh

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posted on 2022-09-12, 09:37 authored by Mohammed Badrul Amin, Sumita Rani Saha, Md Rayhanul Islam, SM Arefeen Haider, Muhammed Iqbal Hossain, ASM Homaun Kabir Chowdhury, Emily RoushamEmily Rousham, Mohammad Aminul Islam
Fluro(quinolones) is an important class of antibiotic used widely in both human and veterinary medicine. Resistance to fluro(quinolones) can be acquired by either chromosomal point mutations or plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance (PMQR). There is a lack of studies on the prevalence of PMQR in organisms from environmental sources in Bangladesh. In this study, we investigated the occurrence of PMQR genes in E. coli from various water sources and analysed associations between multi-drug resistance (MDR) and resistance to extended spectrum β-lactam antibiotics. We analysed 300 E. coli isolates from wastewaters of urban live-bird markets (n = 74) and rural households (n = 80), rural ponds (n = 71) and river water samples (n = 75) during 2017–2018. We isolated E. coli by filtering 100 ml of water samples through a 0.2μm cellulose membrane and incubating on mTEC agar media followed by identification of isolated colonies using biochemical tests. We selected one isolate per sample for detection of PMQR genes by multiplex PCR and tested for antibiotic susceptibility by disc diffusion. Clonal relatedness of PMQR-positive isolates was evaluated by enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus-PCR (ERIC-PCR). About 66% (n = 199) of E. coli isolates harbored PMQR-genes, predominantly qnrS (82%, n = 164) followed by aac(6’)-lb-cr (9%, n = 17), oqxAB (7%, n = 13), qnrB (6%, n = 11) and qepA (4%, n = 8). Around 68% (n = 135) of PMQR-positive isolates were MDR and 92% (n = 183) were extended spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing of which the proportion of positive samples was 87% (n = 159) for blaCTX-M-1’ 34% (n = 62) for blaTEM, 9% (n = 16) for blaOXA-1, blaOXA-47 and blaCMY-2, and 2% (n = 4) for blaSHV. Further, 16% (n = 32) of PMQR-positive isolates were resistant to carbapenems of which 20 isolates carried blaNDM-1. Class 1 integron (int1) was found in 36% (n = 72) of PMQR-positive E. coli isolates. PMQR genes were significantly associated with ESBL phenotypes (p≤0.001). The presence of several PMQR genes were positively associated with ESBL and carbapenemase encoding genes such as qnrS with blaCTXM-1 (p<0.001), qnrB with blaTEM (p<0.001) and blaOXA-1 (p = 0.005), oqxAB and aac(6’)-lb-cr with blaSHV and blaOXA-1 (p<0.001), qnrB with blaNDM-1 (p<0.001), aac(6’)-lb-cr with blaOXA-47 (p<0.001) and blaNDM-1 (p = 0.002). Further, int1 was found to correlate with qnrB (p<0.001) and qepA (p = 0.011). ERIC-PCR profiles allowed identification of 84 of 199 isolates with 85% matching profiles which were further grouped into 33 clusters. Only 5 clusters had isolates (n = 11) with identical ERIC-PCR profiles suggesting that PMQR-positive E. coli isolates are genetically heterogeneous. Overall, PMQR-positive MDR E. coli were widely distributed in aquatic environments of Bangladesh indicating poor wastewater treatment and highlighting the risk of transmission to humans and animals.


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Natural Environment Research Council

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This is an Open Access Article. It is published by PLoS ONE under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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Prof Emily Rousham. Deposit date: 12 September 2022

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