Emergence of a Clonal Lineage of Multidrug-Resistant ESBL-Producing Salmonella Infantis Transmitted from Broilers and Broiler Meat to Humans in Italy between 2011 and 2014

Alessia Franco, Pimlapas Leekitcharoenphon, Fabiola Feltrin, Patricia Alba, Gessica Cordaro, Manuela Iurescia, Rita Tolli, Mario D'Incau, Monica Staffolani, Elisabetta Di Giannatale, Rene S. Hendriksen, Antonio Battisti, Axel Cloeckaert (Editor)

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Abstract

We report the spread of a clone of multidrug-resistant (MDR), ESBL-producing (blaCTX-M-1) Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Infantis, in the Italian broiler chicken industry and along the food-chain. This was first detected in Italy in 2011 and led to human infection in Italy in 2013-2014.A set (n = 49) of extended-spectrum cephalosporin (ESC)-resistant (R) isolates of S. Infantis (2011-2014) from humans, food-producing animals and meat thereof, were studied along with a selected set of earlier and more recent ESC-susceptible (ESC-S) isolates (n = 42, 2001-2014). They were characterized by macrorestriction-PFGE analysis and genetic environment of ESC-resistance. Isolates representative of PFGE-patterns and origin were submitted to Whole Genome Sequencing. The emerging ESC-R clone, detected mainly from broiler chickens, broiler meat and humans, showed a minimum pattern of clinical resistance to cefotaxime, tetracycline, sulfonamides, and trimethoprim, beside ciprofloxacin microbiological resistance (MIC 0.25 mg/L). All isolates of this clone harbored a conjugative megaplasmid (~ 280-320 Kb), similar to that described in ESC-susceptible S. Infantis in Israel (pESI-like) in 2014. This megaplasmid carried the ESBL gene blaCTX-M-1, and additional genes [tet(A), sul1, dfrA1 and dfrA14] mediating cefotaxime, tetracycline, sulfonamide, and trimethoprim resistance. It also contained genes conferring enhanced colonization capability, virulence (fimbriae, yersiniabactin), resistance and fitness (qacE1, mer) in the intensive-farming environment. This emerging clone of S. Infantis has been causing infections in humans, most likely through the broiler industry. Since S. Infantis is among major serovars causing human infections in Europe and is an emerging non-typhoidal Salmonella globally, further spread of this lineage in primary productions deserves quick and thorough risk-management strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0144802
JournalP L o S One
Volume10
Issue number12
Number of pages15
ISSN1932-6203
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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