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Title: Increased prevalence of Escherichia coli strains from food carrying bla(NDM) and mcr-1-bearing plasmids that structurally resemble those of clinical strains, China, 2015 to 2017
Authors: Liu, XB 
Geng, S
Chan, EWC 
Chen, S 
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Eur Centre Dis Prevention & Control
Source: Eurosurveillance, 28 Mar. 2019, v. 24, no. 13, 1800113, p. 27-34 How to cite?
Journal: Eurosurveillance 
Abstract: Introduction: Emergence of resistance determinants of bla(NDM) and mcr-1 has undermined the antimicrobial effectiveness of the last tine drugs carbapenems and colistin. Aim: This work aimed to assess the prevalence of bla(NDM) and mcr-1 in E. coli strains collected from food in Shenzhen, China, during the period 2015 to 2017.
Methods: Multidrug-resistant E. coil strains were isolated from food samples. Plasmids encoding mcr-1 or bla(NDM) genes were characterised and compared with plasmids found in clinical isolates.
Results: Among 1,166 non-repeated cephalosporin-resistant E. coil strains isolated from 2,147 food samples, 390 and 42, respectively, were resistant to colistin and meropenem, with five strains being resistant to both agents. The rate of resistance to colistin increased significantly (p<0.01) from 26% in 2015 to 46% in 2017, and that of meropenem resistance also increased sharply from 0.3% in 2015 to 17% in 2017 (p<0.01). All meropenem- resistant strains carried a plasmid-borne bla(NDM )gene. Among the colistin-resistant strains, three types of mcr-2-bearing plasmids were determined. Plasmid sequencing indicated that these mcr-1 and bla(NDM)-bearing plasmids were structurally similar to those commonly recovered from clinical isolates. Interestingly, both mcr-1-bearing and bla(NDM) -bearing plasmids were transferrable to E. coli strain J53 under selection by meropenem, yet only mcr-1-bearing plasmids were transferrable under colistin selection.
Conclusion: These findings might suggest that mobile elements harbouring mcr-1 and bla(NDM) have been acquired by animal strains and transmitted to our food products, highlighting a need to prevent a spike in the rate of drug resistant food-borne infections.
ISSN: 1560-7917
DOI: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2019.24.13.1800113
Rights: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) Licence ( You may share and adapt the material, but must give appropriatecredit to the source, provide a link to the licence and indicate if changes were made.
This article is copyright of the authors or their affiliated in-stitutions, 2019
The following publication Liu Xiaobo, Geng Shu, Chan Edward Wai-Chi, Chen Sheng. Increased prevalence of Escherichia coli strains from food carrying blaNDM and mcr-1-bearing plasmids that structurally resemble those of clinical strains, China, 2015 to 2017. Euro Surveill. 2019;24(13):pii=1800113 is available at
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