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Presence of mcr-1-positive Enterobacteriaceae in retail chicken meat but not in humans in the Netherlands since 2009

03 Mar 2016

Recently, the plasmid-mediated colistin resistance gene mcr-1 was found in Enterobacteriaceae from humans, pigs and retail meat in China. Several reports have documented global presence of the gene in Enterobacteriaceae from humans, food animals and food since. We screened several well-characterised strain collections of Enterobacteriaceae, obtained from retail chicken meat and hospitalised patients in the Netherlands between 2009 and 2015, for presence of colistin resistance and the mcr-1 gene. A total of 2,471 Enterobacteriaceae isolates, from surveys in retail chicken meat (196 isolates), prevalence surveys in hospitalised patients (1,247 isolates), clinical cultures (813 isolates) and outbreaks in healthcare settings (215 isolates), were analysed. The mcr-1 gene was identified in three (1.5%) of 196 extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli isolates from retail chicken meat samples in 2009 and 2014. Two isolates were obtained from the same batch of meat samples, most likely representing contamination from a common source. No mcr-1-positive isolates were identified among 2,275 human isolates tested. All mcr-1-positive isolates were colistin-resistant (minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC)?>?2 mg/L). Our findings indicate that mcr-1-based colistin-resistance currently poses no threat to healthcare in the Netherlands. They indicate however that continued monitoring of colistin resistance and its underlying mechanisms in humans, livestock and food is needed.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Eurosurveillance