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A small study was carried out in order to examine the molecular presence of bla CTX-M gene phylogenetic groups in E. coli (n=263) isolated from food (n=54), water (n=7), animal sources (n=69), using consensus bla CTX-M primers and PCR, in addition to human faecal isolates (n=69) and VTEC O157:H7 (n=64). None of the clinically significant faecal VTEC O157:H7 isolates were shown to carry blaCTX-M type phylogenetic groups, nor were such phylogenetic groups observed in any of the food, water and animal isolates. One community faecal isolate (1/69; 1.4%), dating from 1997, carried this phylogenetic group. As recent work has indicated that a significant proportion of such phylogenetic groups are carried in community isolates of E. coli with little or no hospital contact, it is important that surveillance is increased to identify potential source(s) and reservoirs of such resistance in the community. Further prospective surveillance is thus required to help elucidate the origins of such phylogenetic group in the community. The significance of this study is that the ESBL-producing E. coli associated with local hospital outbreaks is not commonly found in local food, water or animal sources. In addition, given that ESBL-producing E. coli is now a significant organism, both in hospitals and nursing homes in Northern Ireland, this report demonstrates that such organisms were present in the community, as early as 1997.


John E Moore, Miyuki Watabe, B Cherie Millar, Anne Loughrey, Mark McCalmont, Colin E Goldsmith, J C Neville Heaney, Tom Buckley, Claire Egan, David A McDowell, M Ann S McMahon, James S G Dooley, Jiru Xu, Paul J Rooney. Screening of clinical, food, water and animal isolates of Escherichia coli for the presence of blaCTX-M extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) antibiotic resistance gene loci. The Ulster medical journal. 2010 May;79(2):85-8

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PMID: 21116426

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