Prevalence of Plasmid-Mediated Fosfomycin Resistance Gene fosA3 Among CTX-M-Producing Escherichia coli Isolates from Chickens in China

Wei Jiang, Shuai Men, Linghan Kong, Suzhen Ma, Yongqiang Yang, Yongxiang Wang, Qiwu Yuan, Guangyang Cheng, Wencheng Zou, Hongning Wang
Foodborne Pathogens and Disease 2017, 14 (4): 210-218
The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of fosfomycin resistance gene fosA3 and characterize plasmids harboring fosA3 among CTX-M-producing Escherichia coli from chickens in China. A total of 234 CTX-M-producing E. coli isolates collected from chickens from 2014 to 2016 were screened for the presence of plasmid-mediated fosfomycin resistance genes (fosA, fosA3, and fosC2). Clonal relatedness of fosA3-positive isolates was determined by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). The genetic environment of fosA3 was analyzed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) mapping. Plasmids were studied by using conjugation experiments, PCR-based replicon typing and plasmid MLST. Sixty-four (27.4%) fosA3-positive E. coli isolates were identified in this study. The gene blaCTX-M-55 (31/64) was predominant among these strains, followed by blaCTX-M-14 (18/64) and blaCTX-M-65 (14/64). Various PFGE patterns and sequence types (STs) indicated that these isolates were clonally unrelated. Seven different genetic environments of fosA3 were identified and two new combinations (ISEcp1-blaCTX-M-65 -ΔIS903D-IS26-fosA3-orf1-orf2-Δorf3-IS26 and IS26-ISEcp1-blaCTX-M-3 -orf477-blaTEM-1 -IS26-fosA3-orf1-orf2-Δorf3-IS26) were discovered for the first time. Conjugation experiments were successful for 47 isolates and 33 transconjugants harbored a single plasmid. Plasmids carrying fosA3 belonged to incompatibility group IncFII (17/33), IncI1 (2/33), IncHI2 (3/33), and IncB/O (1/33). F33:A-:B- plasmids carrying blaCTX-M-55 , IncHI2/ST3 plasmids carrying blaCTX-M-65 , and F2:A-:B-plasmids carrying blaCTX-M-55 were found in E. coli isolates from different provinces. Our results revealed a considerable prevalence of fosA3 gene among CTX-M-producing E. coli with clonal diversity from chickens in China. The transmission of different kinds of plasmids is responsible for the dissemination of fosA3 in chicken farms in China.

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