Antimicrobial resistance of Shiga toxin (verotoxin)-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 and non-O157 strains isolated from humans, cattle, sheep and food in Spain.Res Microbiol. 2005 Aug; 156(7):793-806.RM
A total of 722 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) isolates recovered from humans, cattle, ovines and food during the period from 1992 to 1999 in Spain were examined to determine antimicrobial resistance profiles and their association with serotypes, phage types and virulence genes. Fifty-eight (41%) out of 141 STEC O157:H7 strains and 240 (41%) out of 581 non-O157 STEC strains showed resistance to at least one of the 26 antimicrobial agents tested. STEC O157:H7 showed a higher percentage of resistant strains recovered from bovine (53%) and beef meat (57%) than from human (23%) and ovine (20%) sources, whereas the highest prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in non-O157 STEC was found among isolates recovered from beef meat (55%) and human patients (47%). Sulfisoxazole (36%) had the most common antimicrobial resistance, followed by tetracycline (32%), streptomycin (29%), ampicillin (10%), trimethoprim (8%), cotrimoxazole (8%), chloramphenicol (7%), kanamycin (7%), piperacillin (6%), and neomycin (5%). The multiple resistance pattern most often observed was that of streptomycin, sulfisoxazole, and tetracycline. Ten (7%) STEC O157:H7 and 71 (12%) non-O157 strains were resistant to five or more antimicrobial agents. Most strains showing resistance to five or more antimicrobial agents belonged to serotypes O4:H4 (4 strains), O8:H21 (3 strains), O20:H19 (6 strains), O26:H11 (8 strains eae-beta1), O111:H- (3 strains eae-gamma2), O118:H- (2 strains eae-beta1), O118:H16 (5 strains eae-beta1), O128:H- (2 strains), O145:H8 or O145:H- (2 strains eae-gamma1), O157:H7 (10 strains eae-gamma1), O171:H25 (3 strains), O177:H11 (5 strains eae-beta1), ONT:H- (3 strains/1 eae-beta1) and ONT:H21 (2 strains). Interestingly, most of these serotypes, i.e., those indicated in bold) were found among human STEC strains isolated from patients with hemolytic uremic-syndrome (HUS) reported in previous studies. We also detected, among non-O157 strains, an association between a higher level of multiple resistance to antibiotics and the presence of the virulence genes eae and stx(1). Moreover, STEC O157:H7, showed an association between certain phage types, PT21/28 (90%), PT23 (75%), PT34 (75%), and PT2 (54%), with a higher number of resistant strains. We conclude that the high prevalence of antimicrobial resistance detected in our study is a source of concern, and cautious use of antibiotics in animals is highly recommended.