Phenotypic characterization and whole genome analysis of extended-spectrum betalactamase-producing bacteria isolated from dogs in Germany

Tim Boehmer, Amy J. Vogler, Astrid Thomas, Sabine Sauer, Markus Hergenroether, Reinhard K. Straubinger, Dawn Birdsell, Paul Keim, Jason W. Sahl, Charles H.D. Williamson, Julia M. Riehm

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27 Scopus citations


Asymptomatic colonization with extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) producing Enterobacteriaceae has been described for humans, various mammal species, and birds. Here, antimicrobial resistant bacteria were recovered from dog feces originating in Germany, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Croatia, and Ukraine, with a subset of mostly E. coli isolates obtained from a longitudinal collection over twelve months. In vitro antimicrobial resistance testing revealed various patterns of resistance against single or all investigated beta-lactam antibiotics, with none of the 101 isolates resistant against two tested carbapenem antibiotics. Whole genome sequence analysis revealed bacteria species-specific patterns for 23 antimicrobial resistance coding DNA sequences (CDS) that were unapparent from the in vitro analysis alone. Phylogenetic analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) revealed clonal bacterial isolates originating from different dogs, suggesting transmission between dogs in the same community. However, individual resistant E. coli clones were not detected over a period longer than seven days. Multi locus sequence typing (MLST) of 85 E. coli isolates revealed 31 different sequence types (ST) with an accumulation of ST744 (n = 9), ST10 (n = 8), and ST648 (n = 6), although the world-wide hospital-associated CTX-M beta-lactamase producing ST131 was not detected. Neither the antimicrobial resistance CDSs patterns nor the phylogenetic analysis revealed an epidemiological correlation among the longitudinal isolates collected from a period longer than seven days. No genetic linkage could be associated with the geographic origin of isolates. In conclusion, healthy dogs frequently carry ESBL-producing bacteria, independent to prior treatment, which may be transmitted between individual dogs of the same community. Otherwise, these antimicrobial resistant bacteria share few commonalities, making their presence eerily unpredictable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0206252
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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