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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Animal Disease Center » Food Safety and Enteric Pathogens Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #383467

Research Project: Intestinal Microbial Ecology and Metagenomic Strategies to Reduce Antibiotic Resistance and Foodborne Pathogens

Location: Food Safety and Enteric Pathogens Research

Title: Natural horizontal gene transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes in Campylobacter spp. from turkeys and swine

item GUERNIER, VANINA - Orise Fellow
item Trachsel, Julian
item MAKI, JOEL - Orise Fellow
item QI, JING - Shandong Academy Of Agricultural Sciences
item SYLTE, MATTHEW - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
item KATHARIOU, SOPHIA - North Carolina State University
item Looft, Torey

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/24/2021
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Antibiotic-resistant Campylobacter constitute a serious threat to public health. Clonal expansion of resistant strains and/or horizontal spread of resistance genes in other strains and species can hinder the clinical effectiveness of some antibiotics to treat severe campylobacteriosis. But there are gaps in our understanding of the risks of acquisition and spread of resistance genes in Campylobacter. Here, we evaluate the potential transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes between Campylobacter strains of the same or different species (C. coli and C. jejuni) and originating from different host species (swine and turkeys). While published studies have mostly used naked DNA to obtain transformants, we used experimental designs closer to “real-life”, i.e. co-culture of live bacteria in vitro, and dual experimental infection of turkeys. In vitro, we observed four independent horizontal gene transfer events relative to the transfer of beta-lactam resistance (blaOXA gene), aminoglycoside resistance (aph(2”)-If gene; rpsL gene) and tetracycline resistance (tet(O) gene). Observed transfers involved chromosomal genomic islands; we did not detect the transfer of resistance-carrying plasmids even though they were present in some strains. In vivo, we recovered a single isolate with a dual resistance pattern, but no resistance gene transfer was identified. Even though the clonal expansion of resistant strains has been linked to large AMR spread in Campylobacter, our study shows that the horizontal spread of resistance genes can happen within a same Campylobacter species as well as between species, and that horizontal transfer happens between strains originating from turkeys and swine. This highlights the risk of AMR transfer across Campylobacter species on farms where different animal species live in close proximity to each other.