High prevalence of blaCTX-M-15 type extended-spectrum beta-lactamases in
Gambian hooded vultures (Necrosyrtes monachus) – a threatened species
with substantial human interaction
One hundred fecal samples from hooded vultures in the Gambia (Banjul
area) were investigated for the presence of bacteria with
extended-spectrum cephalosporin- (ESBL/AmpC), carbapenemases, and
colistin resistance. No Enterobacteriales carrying carbapenemases or
resistance against colistin were detected. Fifty-four ESBL-producing
Escherichia coli and five ESBL-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates
were identified in 52 of the samples, of which 52 E. coli and 4 K.
pneumoniae yielded passed sequencing results. Fifty of the E. coli had
ESBL phenotype and genotype harboring blaCTX-M genes, of which 88.5%
(n=46) were the blaCTX-M-15 gene, commonly found on the African
continent. Furthermore, the genetic context around blaCTX-M-15 was
similar between isolates, being co-localized with ISKpn19. In contrast,
cgMLST analysis of the E. coli harboring ESBL genes revealed a genetic
distribution over a large fraction of the currently known existing E.
coli populations in the Gambia. Hooded vultures in the Gambia thus have
a high ESBL E. coli-prevalence (>50%) with low diversity
regarding key resistance genes. Furthermore, given the urban presence
and frequent interactions between hooded vultures and humans, data from
this study implies hooded vultures as potential vectors contributing to
the further dissemination of antibiotic-resistance genes.