[Source: Eurosurveillance, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]
Urban brown rats (Rattus norvegicus) as possible source of multidrug-resistant Enterobacteriaceae and meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus spp., Vienna, Austria, 2016 and 2017
Amélie Desvars-Larrive1, Werner Ruppitsch2, Sarah Lepuschitz2, Michael P Szostak1, Joachim Spergser1, Andrea T Feßler3, Stefan Schwarz3, Stefan Monecke4,5,6, Ralf Ehricht4,6, Chris Walzer1,7, Igor Loncaric1
Affiliations: 1 University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria; 2 Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety, Vienna, Austria; 3 Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany; 4 Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology (IPHT), Jena, Germany; 5 Technische Universität, Dresden, Germany; 6 InfectoGnostics Research Campus, Jena, Germany; 7 Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, New York, United States
Correspondence: Amélie Desvars-Larrive amelie.desvarsvetmeduni.ac.at
Citation style for this article: Desvars-Larrive Amélie, Ruppitsch Werner, Lepuschitz Sarah, Szostak Michael P, Spergser Joachim, Feßler Andrea T, Schwarz Stefan, Monecke Stefan, Ehricht Ralf, Walzer Chris, Loncaric Igor. Urban brown rats (Rattus norvegicus) as possible source of multidrug-resistant Enterobacteriaceae and meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus spp., Vienna, Austria, 2016 and 2017. Euro Surveill. 2019;24(32):pii=1900149. https://doi.org/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2019.24.32.1900149
Received: 25 Feb 2019; Accepted: 03 Jun 2019
Brown rats (Rattus norvegicus) are an important wildlife species in cities, where they live in close proximity to humans. However, few studies have investigated their role as reservoir of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria.
We intended to determine whether urban rats at two highly frequented sites in Vienna, Austria, carry extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae, fluoroquinolone-resistant Enterobacteriaceae and meticillin-resistant (MR) Staphylococcus spp. (MRS).
We surveyed the presence of antimicrobial resistance in 62 urban brown rats captured in 2016 and 2017 in Vienna, Austria. Intestinal and nasopharyngeal samples were cultured on selective media. We characterised the isolates and their antimicrobial properties using microbiological and genetic methods including disk diffusion, microarray analysis, sequencing, and detection and characterisation of plasmids.
Eight multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli and two extensively drug-resistant New Delhi metallo-β-lactamases-1 (NDM-1)-producing Enterobacter xiangfangensis ST114 (En. cloacae complex) were isolated from nine of 62 rats. Nine Enterobacteriaceae isolates harboured the blaCTX-M gene and one carried a plasmid-encoded ampC gene (blaCMY-2). Forty-four MRS were isolated from 37 rats; they belonged to seven different staphylococcal species: S. fleurettii, S. sciuri, S. aureus, S. pseudintermedius, S. epidermidis, S. haemolyticus (all mecA-positive) and mecC-positive S. xylosus.
Our findings suggest that brown rats in cities are a potential source of multidrug-resistant bacteria, including carbapenem-resistant En. xiangfangensis ST114. Considering the increasing worldwide urbanisation, rodent control remains an important priority for health in modern cities.
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Keywords: Antibiotics; Drugs Resistance; MRSA; Enterobacteriaceae; Wildlife; Austria.