Aims: This study analyses the prevalence and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) of major diarrhoeagenic Escherichia coli (DEC) pathotypes detected in hospitalized diarrhoeal patients in Kolkata, India, during 2012–2019. Methods and Results: A total of 8891 stool samples were collected from the Infectious Diseases Hospital, Kolkata and screened for the presence of enteric pathogens. Multiplex PCR identified the presence of DEC in 7.8% of the samples, in which ETEC was most common (47.7%) followed by EAEC (38.4%) and EPEC (13.9%). About 54% cases were due to sole DEC infections. Majority of the mixed DEC infections were caused by the Vibrio spp. (19.1%) followed by Rotavirus (14.1%) and Campylobacter spp. (8.4%). ETEC and EAEC were associated significantly with diarrhoea in children <5 years of age, whereas EPEC and also ETEC were prevalent in patients aged between 5 and 14 years. AMR profile showed high prevalence of multidrug resistance (MDR) among DEC (56.9%) in which 9% were resistant to antibiotics of six different antimicrobial classes. Screening of the AMR conferring genes of DEC showed the presence of blaCTX-M3 (30.2%) in highest number followed by blaTEM (27.5%), tetB (18%), sul2 (12.6%), strA (11.8%), aadA1 (9.8%), blaOXA-1 (9%), dfrA1 (1.6%) and blaSHV (1.2%). Conclusions: These findings highlighted the high prevalence of MDR in major DEC pathotypes that could be considered as the leading aetiological bacterial agent responsible for diarrhoea and suggests a significant public health threat. Significance and Impact of the Study: The results of this study can help to improve the understanding of the epidemiology of DEC infections in patients with diarrhoea. Monitoring of AMR surveillance needs special attention because the DEC isolates were highly resistant to commonly used antimicrobials in the treatment of diarrhoea.
- antimicrobial resistance
- diarrhoeagenic Escherichia coli
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology