Genetic analysis of plasmid-encoded mcr-1 resistance in Enterobacteriaceae derived from poultry meat in the Netherlands

Casper Jamin, Bazante K Sanders, Miaomiao Zhou, Adalberto Costessi, Danny Duijsings, Jan A J W Kluytmans, Lieke B van Alphen, Eefje J A Schrauwen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Colistin is classified as the highest priority and critically important antimicrobial for human medicine by WHO as it is the last resort agent for treatment of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae in humans. Additional research is necessary to elucidate the genetic structure of mcr-1 resistance genes, commonly found on plasmids, using WGS.

Objectives: To map and compare the genetic characteristics of 35 mcr-1-mediated colistin-resistant Enterobacteriaceae isolated from chicken meat to highlight the genetic variation of the mcr-1-containing plasmids.

Methods: Sequencing was performed using Illumina HiSeq2500, Novaseq6000 and ONT's GridION. GridION data was locally basecalled and demultiplexed using ONT's Albacore 2.3.4 followed by Porechop 2.3. Quality filtering was performed using Filtlong 2.0. Hybrid Assembly was performed using Unicycler 4.7. Plasmids were compared with reference sequences in plasmid-RefSeq and pATLAS.

Results: A total of 35 mcr-1 positive Enterobacteriaceae were investigated, which resulted in 34 qualitatively robust hybrid assemblies of 2 Klebsiella pneumoniae and 32 Escherichia coli. mcr-1.1 was present in 33/34 isolates. One isolate contained an mcr-1.1-like resistance gene, due to a deletion of one codon. Two mcr-1.1 genes were located on the chromosome, while the majority of the mcr-1 genes were found on IncX4 type plasmids (n = 19). Almost all plasmids identified in this study were highly similar to plasmids found in human-derived strains.

Conclusions: The mcr-1.1-containing plasmids from retail chicken show high sequence similarity to human mcr-1.1 plasmids, suggesting that this may be a contributor to the presence of colistin resistance in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Article number156
Number of pages6
JournalJAC-Antimicrobial Resistance
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021



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