High prevalence of mcr-1-encoded colistin resistance in commensal Escherichia coli from broiler chicken in Bangladesh

Shahana Ahmed, Tridip Das, Md Zohorul Islam, Ana Herrero-Fresno, Paritosh Kumar Biswas, John Elmerdahl Olsen

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32 Citations (Scopus)
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Colistin is a last-resort antimicrobial used for the treatment of human infections caused by multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria. However, colistin is still widely used in intensive poultry production in Bangladesh. We aimed to investigate the dynamics and genetic diversity of colistin-resistant commensal Escherichia coli from broiler chickens. A total of 1200 E. coli strains were characterized from 20 broiler farms at three-time points along the production period. All strains were screened for mcr-1 to mcr-5 genes by a multiplex PCR, and their genetic diversity was measured by repetitive extragenic palindromic (REP)-PCR fingerprinting. Genomic diversity and characterization were performed by whole genome sequencing (WGS). Twenty-five percent of the commensal E. coli strains harbored mcr-1 genes. Frequency of mcr-1 gene detection correlated positively (odds ratio 1.71; 95% CI 0.96–3.06; p = 0.068) with the use of colistin in poultry flocks. REP-PCR profiles and WGS analysis showed diverse E. coli population carrying multiple antimicrobial resistance genes. Phylogenetic comparison of mcr-1-bearing strains recovered from this study with a global strain collection revealed wide phylogenetic relationship. This study identified a high prevalence of mcr-1 gene among genetically diverse E. coli populations from broiler chickens in Bangladesh suggesting a massive horizontal spread of mcr-1 rather than by clonal expansion.
Original languageEnglish
Article number18637
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages14
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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