Companion Animals Emerged as an Important Reservoir of Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae: A Report from India.


Bandyopadhyay S(1), Banerjee J(2), Bhattacharyya D(2), Tudu R(3), Samanta I(3), Dandapat P(2), Nanda PK(2), Das AK(2), Mondal B(2), Batabyal S(3), Dutta TK(4).
Author information:
(1)ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Eastern Regional Station, 37 Belgachia Road, Kolkata, 700 037, India. [Email]
(2)ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Eastern Regional Station, 37 Belgachia Road, Kolkata, 700 037, India.
(3)West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Sciences, 37 & 68 K B Sarani, Kolkata, India.
(4)CAU, Selesiah, Aizwal, India.


The emergence and spread of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) are perceived as a serious public-health threat world-wide. Despite sporadic reports, no systemic study has been carried out on CRE in companion animals in Indian subcontinent. In total, 237 canine specimens collected from five veterinary polyclinics in and around Kolkata were analyzed for isolation, antimicrobial resistance profiling and molecular characterization of carbapenem-resistant (CR) E. coli. Of the 29 CR isolates, 19 were identified as metallo-β-lactamase producers (MP-CRE) and 10 as metallo-β-lactamase non-producers (MNP-CRE). Eleven of them were extended spectrum β-lactamase and/or AmpC type β-lactamase producers and harboured fluoroquinolone-, tetracycline-, sulfonamide- and aminoglycoside-resistant genes. Beside uropathogenic virulence determinants, they carried the adhesion factors mediating biofilm production which was remarkably higher in 6 MP-CRE and one MNP-CRE isolates. Although the CRE were of diverse origin including the healthy and the diseased dogs, these were more frequently isolated from canine pyometra. The MP-CRE harboured plasmids of IncF and IncA/C types. Phylo-type B1 was observed in 38% of the CR isolates, followed by A0 in 31% and rest were attributed to A1 and D1. The Enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus-PCR (ERIC-PCR) revealed that these isolates were genetically diverse and constituted of a heterogenous population. Detection of CRE in pet dogs despite the fact that carbapenems are not used in animals in India emphasizes the need for active surveillance to identify the transmission and dynamics of such pathogens in companion animals.