Phenotypic detection of carbapenem resistance in archived E.coli isolated from swine in Mukono, Uganda
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Antimicrobial resistance is the ability of a microorganism to resist the growth inhibitory or killing activity of an antimicrobial beyond the normal susceptibility of the specific bacterial species. The emergence of carbapenem-resistant bacterial pathogens from food animals is a significant and mounting health concern across the globe. At present, carbapenem resistance (CR) is considered as one of the most concerning resistance mechanisms and mainly found in gram-negative bacteria of the Enterobacteriaceae family. Phenotypically, carbapenems resistance is in due to the two key mechanisms, like structural mutation coupled with β-lactamase production and the ability of the pathogen to produce Carbapenemase which ultimately hydrolyze the carbapenem. Additionally, penicillin-binding protein modification and efflux pumps are also responsible for the development of carbapenem resistance. This retrospective cross-sectional study aimed at phenotypic detection of carbapenem resistance in archived E. coli isolated from swine involved antibiotic susceptibility testing in which all the E. coli isolates were exposed to carbapenems and screening for Carbapenemase enzyme from those isolates that were resistant and intermediate to more than one carbapenem antibiotic. Antibiotic susceptibility profiles showed that all E. coli isolates were susceptible to ertapenem 82 (92.1%), 11 (12.4%) were resistant to imipenem. Resistance towards meropenem was observed in 16 (18.0%) of the isolates. The highest resistance of the E. coli isolates towards carbapenems was observed with meropenem (18%) followed by imipenem (12.4%). The prevalence of carbapenem resistance in E. coli isolates was determined and 26 (29.2%) were resistant to more than one carbapenem while 63 (70.8%) were susceptible to all carbapenems. The study showed strong significant positive association between carbapenem resistance and Carbapenemase enzyme production with odds ratio (OR) 16.75, p value<0.001, confidence interval (6.48- 43.32). This study suggests that a reduction in the use of all classes of medically important antibiotics in food producing animals and alternative options to using antibiotics for disease prevention in animals must be implemented.