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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: HOST, PATHOGEN AND ENVIRONMENTAL INTERACTIONS IN COOL AND COLD WATER AQUACULTURE Title: Multiple Antimicrobial Resistance in Plague: An Emerging Public Health Risk

Authors
item Welch, Timothy
item Fricke, Wolfgang - INSTITUTE FOR GENOMIC RES
item Rosso, Marie - INSTITUT PASTEUR
item Rasko, David - INSTITUTE FOR GENOMIC RES
item Mammel, Mark - OFFICE OF APPLIED RESEARC
item Eppinger, Mark - INSTITUTE FOR GENOMIC RES
item Rosovitz, M - INSTITUTE FOR GENOMIC RES
item White, David - OFFICE OF RESEARCH, CVM-F
item Mcdermott, Patrick - OFFICE OF RESEARCH, CVM-F
item Wagner, David - NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSI
item Rahalison, Lila - INSTITUT PASTEUR
item Leclerc, J - OFFICE OF APPLIED RESEARC
item Hinshaw, Jeffrey - DEPT OF ZOOLOGY
item Lindler, Luther - PUBLIC HEALTH LABORATORY
item Cebula, Thomas - OFFICE OF APPLIED RESEAR
item Carniel, Elisabeth - INSTITUT PASTEUR
item Ravel, Jacques - INSTITUTE FOR GENOMIC RES

Submitted to: PLoS One
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 19, 2007
Publication Date: March 21, 2007
Citation: Welch, T.J., Fricke, W.F., Rosso, M.L., Rasko, D.A., Mammel, M., Eppinger, M., Rosovitz, M.J., White, D.G., Mcdermott, P.F., Wagner, D., Rahalison, L., Leclerc, J.E., Hinshaw, J.M., Lindler, L.E., Cebula, T.A., Carniel, E., Ravel, J. 2007. Multiple Antimicrobial Resistance in Plague: An Emerging Public Health Risk. PLoS One. Vol.1 (3)1-6.

Interpretive Summary: Yersinia pestis is a gram negative bacterium that causes plague, a serious disease in humans that is thought to have caused an estimated 200 million deaths and killed nearly one third (20 million) of the European population during the Black Death pandemic of the 1300s. Antibiotic resistance in Yersinia pestis is rare but constitutes a significant threat given that antibiotics are used both for plague treatment and to prevent human-to-human transmission. In this study we identified and sequenced a multiple-antibiotic-resistance plasmid from the fish pathogen Yersinia ruckeri. Subsequent DNA sequence analysis revealed highly similar plasmids in isolates of Yersinia pestis and Salmonella enterica, and further screening showed that this plasmid backbone is broadly disseminated among human and animal pathogens associated with agriculture.

Technical Abstract: Antimicrobial resistance in Yersinia pestis is rare, yet constitutes a significant international public health and biodefense threat. In 1995, the first multidrug resistant (MDR) isolate of Y. pestis (strain IP275) was identified, and shown to contain a self-transmissible plasmid (pIP1202) that confers resistance to many of the antimicrobials recommended for plague treatment and prophylaxis. Comparative analysis of the DNA sequence of Y. pestis plasmid pIP1202 revealed a near identical IncA/C plasmid backbone that is shared by MDR plasmids isolated from Salmonella enterica serotype Newport SL254 and the fish pathogen Yersinia ruckeri YR71. The high degree of sequence identity and gene synteny of this shared plasmid backbone suggests recent acquisition of these plasmids from a common ancestor. In addition, the Y. pestis pIP1202-like plasmid backbone was detected in numerous MDR enterobacterial pathogens isolated from retail meat samples collected between 2002 and 2005 in the United States. Plasmid-positive strains were isolated from beef, chicken, turkey and pork, and were found in samples from the following states: CA, CO, CT, GA, MD, MN, NM, NY and OR. These studies reveal that this common plasmid backbone is broadly disseminated among MDR zoonotic pathogens associated with agriculture. This reservoir of mobile resistance determinants has the potential to disseminate to Y. pestis and other human and zoonotic bacterial pathogens and therefore represents a significant public health concern.

Last Modified: 10/30/2014
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