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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Molecular Characterization of Foodborne Pathogens Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #311331

Title: Whole genome sequencing of diverse Shiga toxin-producing and non-producing Escherichia coli strains reveals a variety of virulence and novel antibiotic resistance plasmids

item LOSADA, LILIANA - Pennsylvania State University
item DEBROY, CHIRITA - Pennsylvania State University
item RADUNE, DIANE - J Craig Venter Institute
item SANKA, RAVI - J Craig Venter Institute
item KIM, MARIA - J Craig Venter Institute
item BRINKAC, LAUREN - J Craig Venter Institute
item KARIYAWASAM, SUBHASHINIE - J Craig Venter Institute
item Shelton, Daniel
item Fratamico, Pina
item KAPUR, VIVEK - Pennsylvania State University
item FENG, PETER - Food And Drug Administration(FDA)

Submitted to: Plasmid Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/29/2015
Publication Date: 12/31/2015
Publication URL:
Citation: Losada, L., Debroy, C., Radune, D., Sanka, R., Kim, M., Brinkac, L., Kariyawasam, S., Shelton, D.R., Fratamico, P.M., Kapur, V., Feng, P. 2015. Whole genome sequencing of diverse Shiga toxin-producing and non-producing Escherichia coli strains reveals a variety of virulence and novel antibiotic resistance plasmids. Plasmid Journal. 83:8-11.

Interpretive Summary: Bacteria known as Escherichia coli can cause serious human illness, and infections can be associated with eating contaminated food. Pathogenic E. coli can carry a variety of genes that allow them to cause illness and that make them resistant to certain antibiotics or other antimicrobials. These genes can be carried on the chromosome of E. coli or on smaller circular DNA known as a plasmid that is not part of the chromosome. By sequencing the chromosome and plasmids of a number of E. coli strains that were involved in human illness, many new types of plasmids were identified that carried genes that confer resistance to antibiotics and other antimicrobials, as well as genes that are involved in the disease process (virulence genes). Information obtained from this study raises concern since these novel plasmids found in E. coli carry multiple resistance genes and virulence genes and can likely be easily transferred among different strains of E. coli. This should be taken into consideration when designing intervention strategies for foods and therapeutic agents and regimens.

Technical Abstract: The genomes of a diverse set of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli strains and the presence of 38 plasmids among all the isolates were determined. Among the novel plasmids found, there were eight that encoded resistance genes to antibiotics, including aminoglycosides, carbapenems, penicillins, cephalosporins, chloramphenicol, dihydrofolate reductase inhibitors, sulfonamides, and tetracyclines. Resistance to heavy metals was also common. Two plasmids with an unusually large repertoire of resistance genes (>6) and two novel IncHI2 plasmids were identified. The results of this study showed that plasmids carrying diverse resistance and virulence genes of various pathogenic E. coli groups can be found in E. coli strains and serotypes regardless of the isolate's source and therefore, is consistent with the premise that these mobile elements carrying these traits may be broadly disseminated among E. coli.