Antimicrobial drug-resistant Escherichia coli from humans and poultry products, Minnesota and Wisconsin, 2002-2004
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The food supply, including poultry products, may transmit antimicrobial drug-resistant Escherichia coli to humans. To assess this hypothesis, 931 geographically and temporally matched E. coli isolates from human volunteers (hospital inpatients and healthy vegetarians) and commercial poultry products (conventionally raised or raised without antimicrobial drugs) were tested by PCR for phylogenetic group (A, B1, B2, D) and 60 virulence genes associated with extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli. Isolates resistant to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, quinolones, and extended spectrum cephalosporins (n = 331) were compared with drug-susceptible isolates (n = 600) stratified by source. Phylogenetic and virulence markers of drug-susceptible human isolates differed considerably from those of human and poultry isolates. In contrast, drug-resistant human isolates were similar to poultry isolates, and drug-susceptible and drug-resistant poultry isolates were largely indistinguishable. Many drug-resistant human fecal E. coli isolates may originate from poultry, whereas drug-resistant poultry source E. coli isolates likely originate from susceptible poultry-source precursors.
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