#Resistance to critically important #antimicrobials in #Australian silver #gulls (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae) and evidence of #anthropogenic origins (J Antimicrob Chemother., abstract)

[Source: Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Resistance to critically important antimicrobials in Australian silver gulls (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae) and evidence of anthropogenic origins

Shewli Mukerji, Marc Stegger, Alec Vincent Truswell, Tanya Laird, David Jordan, Rebecca Jane Abraham, Ali Harb, Mary Barton, Mark O’Dea, Sam Abraham

Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, dkz242, https://doi.org/10.1093/jac/dkz242

Published: 09 July 2019




Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) to critically important antimicrobials (CIAs) amongst Gram-negative bacteria can feasibly be transferred amongst wildlife, humans and domestic animals. This study investigated the ecology, epidemiology and origins of CIA-resistant Escherichia coli carried by Australian silver gulls (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae), a gregarious avian wildlife species that is a common inhabitant of coastal areas with high levels of human contact.


Sampling locations were widely dispersed around the perimeter of the Australian continent, with sites separated by up to 3500 km. WGS was used to study the diversity and molecular characteristics of resistant isolates to ascertain their epidemiological origin.


Investigation of 562 faecal samples revealed widespread occurrence of extended-spectrum cephalosporin-resistant (21.7%) and fluoroquinolone-resistant (23.8%) E. coli. Genome sequencing revealed that CIA-resistant E. coliisolates (n = 284) from gulls predominantly belonged to human-associated extra-intestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC) clones, including ST131 (17%), ST10 (8%), ST1193 (6%), ST69 (5%) and ST38 (4%). Genomic analysis revealed that gulls carry pandemic ExPEC-ST131 clades (O25:H4 H30-R and H30-Rx) and globally emerging fluoroquinolone-resistant ST1193 identified among humans worldwide. Comparative analysis revealed that ST131 and ST1193 isolates from gulls overlapped extensively with human clinical isolates from Australia and overseas. The present study also detected single isolates of carbapenem-resistant E. coli (ST410-blaOXA-48) and colistin-resistant E. coli (ST345-mcr-1).


The carriage of diverse CIA-resistant E. coli clones that strongly resemble pathogenic clones from humans suggests that gulls can act as ecological sponges indiscriminately accumulating and disseminating CIA-resistant bacteria over vast distances.

Topic: colistin – epidemiology – animals, domestic – australia – aves – clone cells – disease transmission – drug resistance, microbial – ecology – feces – fluoroquinolones – genome – gram-negative bacteria – intestines – prescriptions, drug – surgical sponges – bacteria – silver – antimicrobials – escherichia coli – pandemics – genome sequencing – carbapenem resistance – extraintestinal pathogenic escherichia coli – whole genome sequencing


© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/open_access/funder_policies/chorus/standard_publication_model)

Keywords: Antibiotics; Drugs Resistance; Carbapenem; Colistin; Fluoroquinolones; MCR1; E.Coli; Wild Birds; Australia.


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Giuseppe Michieli

I am an Italian blogger, active since 2005 with main focus on emerging infectious diseases such as avian influenza, SARS, antibiotics resistance, and many other global Health issues. Other fields of interest are: climate change, global warming, geological and biological sciences. My activity consists mainly in collection and analysis of news, public services updates, confronting sources and making decision about what are the 'signals' of an impending crisis (an outbreak, for example). When a signal is detected, I follow traces during the entire course of an event. I started in 2005 my blog ''A TIME'S MEMORY'', now with more than 40,000 posts and 3 millions of web interactions. Subsequently I added an Italian Language blog, then discontinued because of very low traffic and interest. I contributed for seven years to a public forum (FluTrackers.com) in the midst of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, I left the site to continue alone my data tracking job.