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Lo Piccolo, Francesco; Belas, Adriana; Foti, Maria; Fisichella, Vittorio; Marques, Catia and Pomba, Constanca (2019): Detection of multidrug resistance and extended-spectrum/plasmid-mediated AmpC beta-lactamase genes in Enterobacteriaceae isolates from diseased cats in Italy. In: Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, Vol. 22, No. 7: pp. 613-622

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Objectives The aim of this study was to determine the antimicrobial susceptibility of Enterobacteriaceae isolated from cats affected by diseases commonly encountered in practice, and to characterise the third-generation cephalosporin (3GC)-resistance molecular mechanisms involved. Methods Clinical samples (n = 100) included 58 rectal swabs from cats with diarrhoea, 31 nasal swabs from cats with clinical signs of upper respiratory tract disease, four ear swabs from cats with otitis, three conjunctival swabs from cats with conjunctivitis, two oral swabs from cats with stomatitis, one swab from a skin abscess and one urine sample from a cat with cystitis. A total of 125 Enterobacteriaceae were isolated from 90 cats. Escherichia coli was the most frequently isolated species (n = 65), followed by Enterobacter species (n = 20), Proteus species (n = 13), Citrobacter species (n = 12) and others (n = 15). Bacterial susceptibility testing was performed with respect to eight antimicrobial classes. Beta(beta)-lactamase genes were identified by PCR and nucleotide sequencing. Results Overall, the higher frequency of resistance was to amoxicillin-clavulanate (61.3%), trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (33.6%) and cefotaxime (32.8%). Thirty-six percent of the isolates (n = 45) were resistant to 3GCs. Of these isolates, 34 were tested by PCR and nucleotide sequencing and 23 were confirmed as encoding beta-lactamase genes. Fourteen 3GC-resistant isolates harboured extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs) belonging to groups CTX-M-1 (n = 12, two of which were CTX-M-79), CTX-M-2 (n = 1) and CTX-M-9 (n = 1), as well as SHV-12 (n = 1) and TEM-92 (n = 1). Nine isolates had CMY-2 plasmid-mediated AmpC beta-lactamases (pAmpC). Thirty-one percent (n = 39) of the isolates were multidrug-resistant (MDR) and were isolated from 34% (n = 31/90) of the cats. Conclusions and relevance A high frequency of MDR and ESBL/pAmpC beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae were detected among bacteria isolated from a feline population in southern Italy with a variety of common clinical conditions, which poses limitations on therapeutic options for companion animals. We describe the first detection of CTX-M-79 and TEM-92 ESBL genes in isolates from cats.

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