IJMS, Vol. 23, Pages 11276: Characterizing Antimicrobial Resistance in Clinically Relevant Bacteria Isolated at the Human/Animal/Environment Interface Using Whole-Genome Sequencing in Austria (International Journal of Molecular Sciences)
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a public health issue attributed to the misuse of antibiotics in human and veterinary medicine. Since AMR surveillance requires a One Health approach, we sampled nine interconnected compartments at a hydrological open-air lab (HOAL) in Austria to obtain six bacterial species included in the WHO priority list of antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB). Whole genome sequencing-based typing included core genome multilocus sequence typing (cgMLST). Genetic and phenotypic characterization of AMR was performed for all isolates. Eighty-nine clinically-relevant bacteria were obtained from eight compartments including 49 E. coli, 27 E. faecalis, 7 K. pneumoniae and 6 E. faecium. Clusters of isolates from the same species obtained in different sample collection dates were detected. Of the isolates, 29.2% were resistant to at least one antimicrobial. E. coli and E. faecalis isolates from different compartments had acquired antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs) associated with veterinary drugs such as aminoglycosides and tetracyclines, some of which were carried in conjugative and mobilizable plasmids. Three multidrug resistant (MDR) E. coli isolates were found in samples from field drainage and wastewater. Early detection of ARGs and ARB in natural and farm-related environments can identify hotspots of AMR and help prevent its emergence and dissemination along the food/feed chain.