Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Publication
    Antimicrobial Resistance in Wildlife: Implications for Public Health
    The emergence and spread of antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) bacteria in natural environments is a major concern with serious implications for human and animal health. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of AMR Escherichia coli (E. coli) in wild birds and mammalian species. Thirty faecal samples were collected from each of the following wildlife species: herring gulls (Larus argentatus), black-headed gulls (Larus ridibundus), lesser black-back gulls (Larus fuscus), hybrid deer species (Cervus elaphus x Cervus nippon) and twenty-six from starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). A total of 115 E. coli isolates were isolated from 81 of 146 samples. Confirmed E. coli isolates were tested for their susceptibility to seven antimicrobial agents by disc diffusion. In total, 5.4% (8/146) of samples exhibited multidrug-resistant phenotypes. The phylogenetic group and AMR-encoding genes of all multidrug resistance isolates were determined by PCR. Tetracycline-, ampicillin- and streptomycin-resistant isolates were the most common resistant phenotypes. The following genes were identified in E. coli: blaTEM, strA, tet(A) and tet(B). Plasmids were identified in all samples that exhibited multidrug-resistant phenotypes. This study indicates that wild birds and mammals may function as important host reservoirs and potential vectors for the spread of resistant bacteria and genetic determinants of AMR.
      717Scopus© Citations 92
  • Publication
    A scoping review on the prevalence of Shiga-toxigenic Escherichia coli in wild animal species
    Zoonotic pathogens constitute the major source (60.3%) of emerging infectious diseases. Previous studies have investigated the prevalence of Shiga-toxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC) among wild animal species, but comprehensive data are needed to assess the role that these animals have in the transmission of STEC infections to the human population via faecal contamination of the environment, agri-food or water chain. Due to the nature of these microorganisms in which this human-animal-environment interface plays a relevant role on the disease's dynamics, a "One Health" approach is needed to prevent and control the worldwide spread. The aim of this study was to review the published research on the prevalence of STEC in wildlife. The search was performed using several online databases consisting of three blocks of specific search terms covering pathogen, type of study and population. Two reviewers applied the inclusion and exclusion criteria to screening and eligibility phases. Two hundred and twenty-five abstracts were screened for relevance, and 72 were included for data analysis. Most studies (77.8%) investigated the prevalence of STEC in ruminants and urban birds. Their role in transmitting the pathogen to humans, other animals and the agri-food chain is potentiated by the peculiar biological characteristics in ruminants and improved adaptation of urban birds to urban environments. The popularity of convenience and voluntary response sampling may be due to the lack of human-made boundaries on the wild animal species' habitat and having some samples from hunted-harvested animals. To our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive review on STEC prevalence in wild animal species from studies conducted across the globe. We recommend that future research includes and compares samples from varying origins (i.e., human, animal, environment and food) and applies a "One Health" approach to the emerging challenges that STEC poses to public health.
      1246Scopus© Citations 24
  • Publication
    Molecular characterisation of multi-drug resistant Escherichia coli of bovine origin
    Antimicrobial resistance reported in bacteria of animal origin is considered a major challenge to veterinary public health. In this study, the genotypic and phenotypic characterisation of twelve Escherichia coli isolates of bovine origin is reported. Twelve bacterial isolates of animal origin were selected from a previous study based on their multidrug resistant (MDR) profile. Efflux pump activity was measured using ethidium bromide (EtBr) and the biofilm forming ability of the individual strains was assessed using a number of phenotypic assays. All isolates were resistant to tetracyclines and a number of the isolates expressed resistance to fluoroquinolones which was also confirmed in silico by the presence of a number of these resistance markers. Amino acid substitutions in the quinolone resistance-determining regions were identified in all isolates and the presence of several siderophores were also noted. WGS data showed different STs that were not associated with epidemic STs or virulent clonal complexes. Seven isolates formed biofilms in minimal media with some isolates showing better adaptation at 25 °C while others at 37 °C. The capacity to efflux EtBr was found to be high in 4 isolates and impaired in 4 others.The pathogenicity of three selected isolates was assessed in zebrafish embryo infection models, revealing isolates CFS0355 and CFS0356 as highly pathogenic.These results highlight the application of NGS technologies combined with phenotypic assays in providing a better understanding of E. coli of bovine origin and their adaptation to this niche environment.
      414Scopus© Citations 12
  • Publication
    Increased Virulence of Bloodstream Over Peripheral Isolates of P. aeruginosa Identified Through Post-transcriptional Regulation of Virulence Factors
    The factors influencing the virulence of P. aeruginosa in the development of invasive infection remain poorly understood. Here, we investigated the role of the host microenvironment in shaping pathogen virulence and investigated the mechanisms involved. Comparing seven paired genetically indistinguishable clinical bloodstream and peripheral isolates of P. aeruginosa, we demonstrate that isolates derived from bloodstream infections are more virulent than their peripheral counterparts (p = 0.025). Bloodstream and peripheral isolates elicited similar NF-kB responses in a THP-1 monocyte NF-kappaB reporter cell line implicating similar immunogenicity. Proteomic analysis by mass spectrometry identified multiple virulence and virulence-related factors including LecA and RpoN in significantly greater abundance in the bacterial supernatant from the bloodstream isolate in comparison to that from the corresponding peripheral isolate. Investigation by qPCR revealed that control of expression of these virulence factors was not due to altered levels of transcription. Based on these data, we hypothesize a post-transcriptional mechanism of virulence regulation in P. aeruginosa bloodstream infections influenced by surrounding microenvironmental conditions.
      221Scopus© Citations 12