Genomic profiling of Escherichia coli isolates from bacteraemia patients: a 3-year cohort study of isolates collected at a Sydney teaching hospital.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Microbial genomics, 2020, 6, (5), pp. 1-16
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This study sought to assess the genetic variability of Escherichia coli isolated from bloodstream infections (BSIs) presenting at Concord Hospital, Sydney during 2013-2016. Whole-genome sequencing was used to characterize 81 E. coli isolates sourced from community-onset (CO) and hospital-onset (HO) BSIs. The cohort comprised 64 CO and 17 HO isolates, including 35 multidrug-resistant (MDR) isolates exhibiting phenotypic resistance to three or more antibiotic classes. Phylogenetic analysis identified two major ancestral clades. One was genetically diverse with 25 isolates distributed in 16 different sequence types (STs) representing phylogroups A, B1, B2, C and F, while the other comprised phylogroup B2 isolates in subclades representing the ST131, ST73 and ST95 lineages. Forty-seven isolates contained a class 1 integron, of which 14 carried bla CTX -M-gene. Isolates with a class 1 integron carried more antibiotic resistance genes than isolates without an integron and, in most instances, resistance genes were localized within complex resistance loci (CRL). Resistance to fluoroquinolones could be attributed to point mutations in chromosomal parC and gyrB genes and, in addition, two isolates carried a plasmid-associated qnrB4 gene. Co-resistance to fluoroquinolone and broad-spectrum beta-lactam antibiotics was associated with ST131 (HO and CO), ST38 (HO), ST393 (CO), ST2003 (CO) and ST8196 (CO and HO), a novel ST identified in this study. Notably, 10/81 (12.3 %) isolates with ST95 (5 isolates), ST131 (2 isolates), ST88 (2 isolates) and a ST540 likely carry IncFII-IncFIB plasmid replicons with a full spectrum of virulence genes consistent with the carriage of ColV-like plasmids. Our data indicate that IncF plasmids play an important role in shaping virulence and resistance gene carriage in BSI E. coli in Australia.
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