Antimicrobial Resistance, Genomic, and Public Health Insights into Enterococcus spp. from Australian Cattle
AbstractEnterococci are opportunistic, potentially life-threatening pathogens of humans that are difficult to manage due to antimicrobial resistance. Historically, enterococci entering the food-chain through livestock have been viewed as a likely source of antimicrobial resistance in humans. Australian human-derived clinical enterococci have a propensity to be resistant to multiple classes of antimicrobials including vancomycin. Recent Australian studies involving pigs and chicken have
... excluded these species as reservoirs of infection for resistant enterococci in humans. However, the Australian bovine population has not been similarly assessed. This study investigates the antimicrobial resistance profiles of enterococci from Australian cattle and the phylogenetic relationship between E. faecium isolated from cattle and human sepsis cases. Minimum inhibitory concentration assays were performed for E. faecium (n=343), E. faecalis (n=92), and E. hirae (n=284) against a panel of 15 antimicrobials. The majority of isolates were sensitive to all tested antimicrobials. Erythromycin resistance was most prevalent for E. faecium isolates (18.7%), daptomycin for E. faecalis (12.1%) and tetracycline for E. hirae (13.3%). Phenotypically, 1 E. faecalis was resistant to vancomycin and 9 were resistant to linezolid (E. faecium n=4, E. faecalis n=2, E. hirae n=3) but this was not confirmed with any know genotype. A subset of 67 E. faecium isolates selected for comparative phylogenetic analysis revealed that bovine isolates clustered with other livestock-derived and van-negative human isolates. In conclusion, there is a low prevalence of antimicrobial resistance amongst enterococci from Australian cattle which are unlikely to be precursor strains to vancomycin-resistant strains currently circulating in Australian hospitals.ImportanceEnterococci resistant to critically important antimicrobials such as vancomycin and linezolid are difficult to manage in health care settings. Historically, there has been the belief that livestock can act as a reservoir of resistance for human infections. Previous studies in poultry and pork have demonstrated that isolates derived from these livestock are unlikely to be precursor strains for currently circulating vancomycin resistant-Enterococci causing infection in humans. To date, there has been no study looking at the genetic similarity of bovine derived Enterococci and the relationship to human pathogenic strains. In this study we performed phenotypic and genotypic characterization of bovine derived Enterococci along with comparative phylogenetic analysis with other livestock derived and human sepsis derived E. faecium isolates. We found that while non-vancomycin resistant strain sharing occurs between hosts, cattle are unlikely to be precursor strains for vancomycin resistant human E. faecium infections.