The Occurrence and Characterization of Extended-Spectrum-Beta-Lactamase-Producing Escherichia coli Isolated from Clinical Diagnostic Specimens of Equine Origin.
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Escherichia coli isolates were recovered from clinical specimens of equine patients admitted to the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital over a five-year period. Ceftiofur resistance was used as a marker for potential extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-activity, and of the 48 ceftiofur-resistant E. coli isolates, 27.08% (n = 13) were phenotypically ESBL-positive. Conventional PCR analysis followed by the large-scalebla Finder multiplex PCR detected the ESBL genes, CTX-M-1 and SHV, in seven out of the 13 isolates. Moreover, beta-lactamase genes of TEM-1-type, BER-type (AmpC), and OXA-type were also identified. Sequencing of these genes resulted in identification of a novel TEM-1-type gene, called blaTEM-233, and a study is currently underway to determine if this gene confers the ESBL phenotype. Furthermore, this report is the first to have found E. coli ST1308 in horses. This subtype, which has been reported in other herbivores, harbored the SHV-type ESBL gene. Finally, one out of 13 E. coli isolates was PCR-positive for the carbapenemase gene, blaIMP-1 despite the lack of phenotypically proven resistance to imipenem. With the identification of novel ESBL gene variant and the demonstrated expansion of E. coli sequence types in equine patients, this study underscores the need for more investigation of equines as reservoirs for ESBL-producing pathogens.