University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Departmental Seminar Programme, Department of Veterinary Medicine > Commensal E. coli are a reservoir for the transfer of XDR plasmids into epidemic fluoroquinolone-resistant Shigella sonnei

Commensal E. coli are a reservoir for the transfer of XDR plasmids into epidemic fluoroquinolone-resistant Shigella sonnei

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Despite the sporadic detection of fluoroquinolone-resistant Shigella in Asia in the early 2000s and subsequent global spread of ciprofloxacin-resistant (cipR) Shigella sonnei from 2010, fluoroquinolones remain the recommended therapy for shigellosis. The potential for cipR S. sonnei to develop resistance to alternative second-line drugs may further limit future treatment options. We aimed to understand the evolution of novel antimicrobial resistant (AMR) S. sonnei variants after introduction into Vietnam. We found that cipR S. sonnei displaced the resident ciprofloxacin-susceptible (cipS) lineage while rapidly acquiring additional resistance to multiple alternative antimicrobial classes. We identified several independent acquisitions of XDR /MDR-inducing plasmids, likely facilitated by horizontal transfer from commensals in the human gut. By characterizing commensal E. coli from Shigella-infected and healthy children, we identified an extensive array of AMR genes and plasmids, including an identical MDR plasmid isolated from both S. sonnei and E. coli in the gut of a single child. We additionally found that antimicrobial usage may impact plasmid transfer between commensal E. coli and S. sonnei. These results suggest that in a setting with high antimicrobial use and a high prevalence of AMR commensals, cipR S. sonnei may be propelled towards pan-resistance by adherence to outdated international treatment guidelines.

This talk is part of the Departmental Seminar Programme, Department of Veterinary Medicine series.

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