We have previously observed high rates of acquired antibiotic resistance in commensal Escherichia coli from healthy children living in urban areas of Bolivia and Peru, including resistance to tetracycline and quinolones, which are not routinely used in childhood. In this work we investigated acquired resistance in commensal E. coli from healthy children and home-raised chickens in 12 households from one of the previously surveyed urban area in Bolivia, to ascertain the possibility of human-animal exchange of resistant strains in similar settings. The resistance rates to ampicillin, tetracycline, chloramphenicol, streptomycin, and trimethoprim-sulphametoxazole were overall high (≥50%) and comparable between children and chickens, whereas those to quinolones were significantly higher in chickens (81% vs. 29% for nalidixic acid; 43% vs. 10% for ciprofloxacin). Molecular characterization of tetracycline- and quinolone-resistant isolates (n=66) from children and chickens of three selected households revealed a remarkable clonal diversity and, in some cases, the presence of the same resistant strains among children or among chickens living in the same household, but not between children and chickens. Several resistance plasmids were characterized, but inter-clonal plasmid dissemination was not detected. Overall, the results from the present study suggested that cross-transmission between children and home-raised chickens could not represent a major spreading mechanism for resistant E. coli in households of resource-limited settings with high human-animal promiscuity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)