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Genomic characterization of multi-drug resistant ESBL-producing Escherichia coli ST58 causing fatal colibacillosis in critically endangered Brazilian merganser (Mergus octosetaceus)
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  • Danny Fuentes-Castillo,
  • Pedro Enrique Navas-Suarez,
  • Maria Gondim,
  • Fernanda Esposito,
  • Carlos Sacristán,
  • Herrison Fontana,
  • Bruna Fuga,
  • Camila Piovani,
  • Robert Kooij,
  • Nilton Lincopan,
  • José Luiz Catão-Dias
Danny Fuentes-Castillo
University of Sao Paulo, University of São Paulo

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Pedro Enrique Navas-Suarez
Laboratório de Patologia Comparada de Animais Selvagens, Departamento de Patologia, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
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Maria Gondim
Zooparque Itatiba
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Fernanda Esposito
School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of São Paulo
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Carlos Sacristán
Universidade de Sao Paulo
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Herrison Fontana
University of Sao Paulo
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Bruna Fuga
University of Sao Paulo
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Camila Piovani
Zooparque Itatiba
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Robert Kooij
Zooparque Itatiba
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Nilton Lincopan
University of São Paulo
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José Luiz Catão-Dias
Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia, Universidade de São Paulo
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Even though antimicrobial-resistant bacteria have begun to be detected in wildlife, raising important issues related to their transmission and persistence of clinically important pathogens in the environment, little is known about the role of these bacteria on wildlife health, especially on endangered species. The Brazilian merganser (Mergus octosetaceus) is one of the most threatened waterfowl in the world, classified as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. In 2019, a fatal case of sepsis was diagnosed in an 8-day-old Brazilian merganser inhabiting a zoological park. At necropsy, major gross lesions were pulmonary and hepatic congestion. Using microbiologic and genomic methods, we identified a multidrug-resistant (MDR) extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) CTX-M-8-producing Escherichia coli (designed as PMPU strain) belonging to the international clone ST58, in celomic cavity, esophagus, lungs, small intestine and cloaca samples. PMPU strain harbored a broad resistome against antibiotics (cephalosporins, tetracyclines, aminoglycosides, sulfonamides, trimethoprim, and quinolones), domestic/hospital disinfectants, and heavy metals (arsenic, mercury, lead, copper, and silver). Additionally, the virulence of E. coli PMPU strain was confirmed using a wax moth (Galleria mellonella) infection model, and it was supported by the presence of virulence genes encoding toxins, adherence factors, invasins and iron acquisition systems. Broad resistome and virulome of PMPU contributed to therapeutic failure and death of the animal. In brief, we report for the first time a fatal colibacillosis by MDR-ESBL-producing E. coli in critically endangered Brazilian merganser, highlighting that besides colonization, critical priority pathogens are threatening wildlife. E. coli ST58 clone has been previously reported in humans, food-producing animals, wildlife, and environment, supporting broad adaptation and persistence at human-animal-environment interface.
14 May 2020Submitted to Transboundary and Emerging Diseases
15 May 2020Submission Checks Completed
15 May 2020Assigned to Editor
16 May 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
30 May 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
31 May 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
03 Jun 20201st Revision Received
04 Jun 2020Submission Checks Completed
04 Jun 2020Assigned to Editor
07 Jun 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
08 Jun 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
08 Jun 2020Editorial Decision: Accept