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BioMed Research International
Volume 2018, Article ID 8714975, 7 pages
Research Article

Extra-Intestinal Fluoroquinolone-Resistant Escherichia coli Strains Isolated from Meat

1Department of Sciences for Health Promotion and Mother & Child Care, University of Palermo, Italy
2Institute for Experimental Veterinary Medicine of Sicily, Palermo, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Teresa Fasciana; ti.oiligriv@anaicsaf.aseret

Received 26 June 2018; Revised 17 September 2018; Accepted 28 October 2018; Published 18 November 2018

Guest Editor: Maria E. Potes

Copyright © 2018 Giorgia Caruso et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Extra-intestinal E. coli are emerging as a global threat due to their diffusion as opportunistic pathogens and, above all, to their wide set of antibiotic resistance determinants. There are still many gaps in our knowledge of their origin and spread pathways, although food animals have been adjudicated vehicles for passing mult-drug resistant bacteria to humans. This study analyzed 46 samples of meat purchased from retail stores in Palermo in order to obtain quinolone-resistant E. coli isolates. Strains were screened for their phylogenetic groups, ST131-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and then typed by ERIC-PCR. Their set of virulence factors, namely, kpsMII, papA, sfaS, focG, iutA, papC, hlyD, and afa genes, were investigated and their fluoroquinolone-resistance determinants evaluated. The data obtained show a dramatically high prevalence of multidrug resistance patterns in the Palermo area, with 28% of the isolates having virulence factor genes typical of ExPEC strains. No B2 group or ST131 strains were detected. Moreover, 20% of our isolates showed positivity to all the plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance (PMQR) determinants, showing a potential to transfer these genes among other bacteria. Therefore, these data underline the possibility that food animals and, specifically, poultry in particular may be a significant source of resistant bacterial strains, posing a potential zoonotic risk.