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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Similarity between human and chicken Escherichia coli isolates in relation to ciprofloxacin resistance status.

BACKGROUND: The food supply is suspected to be a source of fluoroquinolone-resistant Escherichia coli that cause disease in humans, but supporting molecular data are lacking. METHODS: We performed a molecular-epidemiological comparison, in Barcelona, Spain (1996-1998), of 117 contemporaneous, geographically matched E. coli isolates from humans (35 blood isolates and 33 fecal) or chickens (49 fecal) that were either susceptible (n = 57) or resistant (n = 60) to ciprofloxacin and analyzed them by phylogenetic group, virulence genotype, and O antigens using random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). RESULTS: When analyzed by phylogenetic distribution, virulence profiles, and O antigens, resistant human isolates were distinct from susceptible human isolates but were largely indistinguishable from chicken isolates, whereas resistant and susceptible chicken isolates were similar. Susceptible human isolates contained more virulence-associated genes and more frequently expressed virulence-associated O antigens than did resistant human or any chicken isolates. Certain resistant human isolates closely resembled chicken isolates by RAPD and PFGE analysis. CONCLUSIONS: Ciprofloxacin-resistant E. coli may arise de novo in poultry from susceptible progenitors, be transmitted to humans via the food supply, and go on to cause potentially life-threatening infections. If confirmed, these findings would mandate efforts to eliminate this reservoir of drug-resistant pathogens and/or to block their transmission to humans.[1]


  1. Similarity between human and chicken Escherichia coli isolates in relation to ciprofloxacin resistance status. Johnson, J.R., Kuskowski, M.A., Menard, M., Gajewski, A., Xercavins, M., Garau, J. J. Infect. Dis. (2006) [Pubmed]
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