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Genome analysis of antimicrobial resistance, virulence, and plasmid presence in Turkish Salmonella serovar Infantis isolates

Acar, Sinem
Bulut, Ece
Stasiewicz, Matthew J.
Soyer, Yeşim
Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Infantis (S. Infantis) isolates were found to have a multi-drug resistance profile (kanamycin, streptomycin, nalidixic acid, tetracycline, sulfonamide, and sometimes to ampicillin) and high prevalence (91%) in Turkish poultry in our previous studies. To investigate the mechanism behind multi-drug antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and high prevalence in Turkish poultry, 23 of the isolates were sequenced for comparative genomic analyses including: SNP-based comparison to S. Infantis from other countries, comparison of antimicrobial resistance genes (AMGs) with AMR phenotypes, and plasmid identification and annotation. Whole-genome SNP-based phylogenetic analysis found that all 23 Turkish S. Infantis isolates formed a distinct, well-supported Glade, separate from 243 comparison S. Infantis genomes in GenomeTrakr identified as from the US and EU; the isolates most closely related to the cluster of these Turkish isolates were from Israel and Egypt. AMGs identified by bioinformatic analysis, without differentiating chromosomal or plasmid located genes, implied AMR phenotypes with 94% similarity overall to wet lab data, which was performed by phenotypic and conventional PCR methods. Most of the S. Infantis (21/23) isolates had identifiable plasmids, with 76% (16/21) larger than 100 kb and 48% (10/21) larger than 200 kb. A plasmid larger than 200 kb, with the incompatibility type of IncX1, similar to United States S. Infantis plasmid N55391 (99% query coverage and 99% identity overall), which itself is similar to Italian and Hungarian S. Infantis plasmids. Turkish S. Infantis plasmids had different beta-lactam resistance genes (bla(TEM-70), bla(TEM-148) and bla(TEM-198)) than the gene bla(CTX-M-)(65 )found in S. Infantis plasmids from other countries. This is the first observation of these three genes in S. Infantis isolates, The plasmids larger than 200 kb had two distinct regions of interest: Site 1 and Site 2. Site 1 (around 130 kb) had virulence- and bacteriocin- associated genes such as bacteriocin secretion system and type II toxin-antitoxin system genes (vagC, ccdA, ccdB, mchE, cvaB) and an aminoglycoside resistance gene (str). Site 2 (around 75-110 kb) had the antimicrobial resistance genes (aadA, sulI, tetA, tetR) and mercury (mer) resistance gene on tranposons Tn552 and Tn501. Presence of these AMR and virulence genes suggests they may have a role in the emergence of S. Infantis in poultry and support treating this serotype as a an important human health hazard.