Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2021 Jul 6;222:112475. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2021.112475. Online ahead of print.
Harmonious ecological environment is a major concern with rising feeding and consumption of ducks, as these waterfowl birds can promote the spread of antibiotic resistant genes (ARGs). Therefore, this study was conducted to know diversity of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), integrons, and mobile genetic elements (MGEs) in Escherichia coli (E. coli) isolated from intestinal contents or pericardial effusion of diseased ducks from 2018 to 2020 in Sichuan, China. The AMR phenotype was determined via disk diffusion test in 165 E. coli isolates. Further, the integrase genes of integron (intI1, intI2 and intI3 genes), gene cassettes (GCs) and MGEs were screened by PCR and sequencing. The results indicated 100% isolates were resistant to at least one antibiotic and 98.8% were multidrug-resistant strains. Highest AMR phenotype was recorded to rifampin (97.0%) followed by ampicillin (95.8%), chloramphenicol (89.7%), trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (84.2%), ciprofloxacin (83.0%), cefotaxime (80.0%), streptomycin (75.8%), doxycycline (49.7%), amikacin (10.3%), amoxicillin/clavulanic acid (3.6%), polymyxin B (1.2%) and ertapenem (0.6%). Further, class 1 and 2 integrons were found in 87.3% and 17.6% isolates, respectively. All isolates were negative for intI3 gene. The variable region of class 1 and 2 integrons contained total 13 different GCs, including arr-3+dfrA27, dfrA1+aadA1, dfrA17+aadA5, dfrA12, dfrA1+sat2+aadA1, dfrA12+aadA2, dfrA5, aadA2+ere(A)+dfrA32, aac(6')-Ib-cr, aadA22, aadA5, dfrA17, and dfrA27. Moreover, 13 MGEs in 69 different combinations were observed with predominance of IS26 followed by tnpA/Tn21, trbC, ISEcp1, merA, ISAba1, tnsA, tnsB, tnsC, IS1133, tnsD, ISCR3/14, and tnsE. Thus, the monitoring of integrons, MGEs and ARGs is important to understand the complex mechanism of AMR, which might help to introduce interventions for prevention and control of AMR in duck farms in China.