Convergence of virulence and resistance in international clones of WHO critical priority enterobacterales isolated from Marine Bivalves
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The global spread of critical-priority antimicrobial-resistant Enterobacterales by food is a public health problem. Wild-caught seafood are broadly consumed worldwide, but exposure to land-based pollution can favor their contamination by clinically relevant antimicrobial-resistant bacteria. As part of the Grand Challenges Explorations: New Approaches to Characterize the Global Burden of Antimicrobial Resistance Program, we performed genomic surveillance and cell culture-based virulence investigation of WHO critical priority Enterobacterales isolated from marine bivalves collected in the Atlantic Coast of South America. Broad-spectrum cephalosporin-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli isolates were recovered from eight distinct geographical locations. These strains harbored blaCTX-M-type or blaCMY-type genes. Most of the surveyed genomes confirmed the convergence of wide virulome and resistome (i.e., antimicrobials, heavy metals, biocides, and pesticides resistance). We identified strains belonging to the international high-risk clones K. pneumoniae ST307 and E. coli ST131 carrying important virulence genes, whereas in vitro experiments confirmed the high virulence potential of these strains. Thermolabile and thermostable toxins were identified in some strains, and all of them were biofilm producers. These data point to an alarming presence of resistance and virulence genes in marine environments, which may favor horizontal gene transfer and the spread of these traits to other bacterial species.
Bueris V, Sellera FP., Fuga B, Sano E, Carvalho MP.N., Couto SCF, et al. Convergence of virulence and resistance in international clones of WHO critical priority enterobacterales isolated from Marine Bivalves. Sci. Rep. 2022 Apr;12:5707. doi:10.1038/s41598-022-09598-8.
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