Characterization of Antimicrobial Resistance Genes and Virulence Factors in the Genomes of Escherichia coli ST69 Isolates from Preweaned Dairy Calves and Their Phylogenetic Relationship with Poultry and Human Clinical Strains

Serajus Salaheen, Seon Woo Kim, Hayley R. Springer, Ernest P. Hovingh, Jo Ann S. Van Kessel, Bradd J. Haley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Escherichia coli sequence type 69 (ST69) are common causative agents of extraintestinal infections occurring in the bloodstream, cerebrospinal fluid, surgical sites, and, most frequently, the urinary tract. The objective of this study was to analyze the genomic characteristics of 45 antimicrobial-resistant Escherichia coli ST69 strains that were isolated from 28 calves on eight dairy farms in Pennsylvania, USA. The genomes were sequenced and the antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs), virulence factors (VFs), and plasmid replicons were identified in silico. A phylogenetic analysis was conducted to compare these calf isolate genomes with poultry and human clinical E. coli ST69 genomes. In total, 23 ARGs, 45 VFs, and 15 plasmid replicons were identified. The majority of genomes (n = 36, 80%) had a multidrug-resistant (MDR) genotype and carried genes conferring resistance to antibiotics of human health significance. Phylogenetic analysis based on the core genomes revealed that calf isolates were nested within clades that included human and poultry isolates, indicating that they are not phylogenetically distinct. Results suggest that dairy calves are a reservoir of MDR E. coli ST69 strains with diverse ARG and VF profiles. This information will be helpful in assessing public health risks associated with E. coli ST69 in commercial dairy production systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-255
Number of pages7
JournalMicrobial Drug Resistance
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Microbiology (medical)

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