Iranian Journal of Microbiology 2017. 9(2):89-96.

Role of antigen-43 on biofilm formation and horizontal antibiotic resistance gene transfer in non-O157 Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli strains
Roholla Taghadosi, Mohammad Reza Shakibaie, Reza Ghanbarpour, Hossein Hosseini-Nave


Background and Objectives: The objectives of this study were to evaluate the antibiotic resistance profiles, biofilm formation, presence of antigen 43 (Ag43) gene, and transfer of antibiotic resistance phenotype among non-O157 Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC).
Materials and Methods: From October 2014 to November 2015 a total of 276 stool samples were collected from healthy calves, goats and 395 patients with the sign of nonbloody diarrhea and screened for presence of stx and serotype O157 genes by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique. Susceptibility to 14 antibiotics was determined as per CLSI guideline. Presence of Ag43 and intimin (eaeA) genes were detected by PCR. Biofilm formation was measured by microtiter plate method. Conjugation was carried out by membrane filter technique.
Results: We isolated 74 (93.6%) non-O157 STEC strains from 41 calves, 33 goats and 5 (6.3%) patients’ stools, however, no O157 serotype was detected in our study. Resistance was observed most commonly to tobramycin (66.2%), kanamycin (48.6%), and amikacin (29.7%) and less frequently to ciprofloxacin (4.1%), amoxicillin-clavulanic acid (5.4%), and ceftriaxone (9.5%) in isolates recovered from calves and goats fecal samples, whereas, all human isolates were sensitive to ceftazidime, ciprofloxacin, tobramycin and imipenem, respectively. Furthermore, Ag43 was detected in 60 STEC isolated from animals and 5 human origins (no eaeA gene was found in this study). Biofilm formation from Ag43+ and Ag43- colonies showed 20 isolates with strong biofilm activities. Cefotaxime resistance phenotype was transferred to E. coli ATCC 25922.1 (Nalr) by conjugation at a frequency of 1.6×10-4.
Conclusion: From the above results we concluded that, human infections with non-O157 STEC were significantly low in Kerman. Ag43 was insignificant with biofilm quantity in most cases.


Shiga toxin producing E. coli; Antibiotic resistance; Biofilm; PCR; Conjugation

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