Livestock have been proposed as a reservoir for drug-resistant Escherichia coli that infect humans. We isolated and sequenced 431 E. coli (including 155 ESBL-producing isolates) from cross-sectional surveys of livestock farms and retail meat in the East of England. These were compared with the genomes of 1517 E. coli associated with bloodstream infection in the United Kingdom. Phylogenetic core genome comparisons demonstrated that livestock and patient isolates were genetically distinct, suggesting that E. coli causing serious human infection had not directly originated from livestock. By contrast, we observed highly relatedisolates from the same animal species on different farms. Screening all 1948 isolates for accessory genes encoding antibiotic resistance revealed 41 different genes present in variable proportions of humans and livestock isolates. Overall, we identified a low prevalence of shared antimicrobial resistance genes between livestock and humans based on analysis of mobile genetic elements and long-read sequencing. We conclude that within the confines of our sampling framework, there was limited evidence that antimicrobial resistant pathogensassociated with serious human infection had originated from livestock in our region.
- Escherichia coli
- antimicrobial resistance