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Molecular Characterization of Antibiotic Resistance in Poultry Gut Origin Enterococci and Horizontal Gene Transfer of Antibiotic Resistance to Staphylococcus aureus
Fatima Malik1, Muhammad Nawaz1, Aftab Ahmad Anjum1, Sehrish Firyal2, Muhammad Akbar Shahid3, Suleman Irfan1*, Fahad Ahmed4 and Amna Afzal Bhatti1

1Institute of Microbiology, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jelani Road, Lahore, Pakistan
2Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jelani Road, Lahore, Pakistan; 3Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Bosan Road, Multan; 4Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Sassari, Sardinia, Italy
*Corresponding author:


Enterococci, the normal inhabitant of gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals, have emerged as significant antibiotic resistant nosocomial pathogens. The current study was designed to determine the antibiotic resistance profile and genes harbored by isolated strains of Enterococci along with study of antibiotic resistance transfer potential from resistant Enterococci to susceptible pathogenic Staphylococcus aureus in vitro. The PCR based prevalence of Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium from 118 broiler cloacal swabs was 60.46 and 30.23%, respectively, indicating that E. faecalis is the predominant species in broilers followed by E. faecium. Enterococci (n=86) were examined for the phenotypic resistance against eleven antibiotics which showed higher level of resistance to lincomycin (96.51%), erythromycin (90.69%), tetracycline (86.04%) and streptomycin (75.58%), intermediate level of resistance to ciprofloxacin (54.65%) and doxycycline (48.83%), and low resistance level to penicillin (26.74%), chloramphenicol (26.74%), amoxicillin (17.44%), augmentin (11.62%) and vancomycin (10.46%). Over 80% Enterococcal isolates were found multidrug resistant (MDR). On the basis of PCR analysis, erm (B) and tet (M) genes were identified in all phenotypically erythromycin and tetracycline resistant strains while van (B) was identified in only 4/9 (44.4%) of vancomycin resistant enterococci (VRE) with no detection of van (A) gene in any VRE. One strain E. faecalis (FME-41) was able to transfer the erythromycin resistance to pathogenic Staphylococcus aureus (M-11) in broth mating assay. MDR Enterococci pose therapeutic threat to human community and control on the spread of such MDR Enterococci from poultry to human food chain is crucial.

To Cite This Article: Malik F, Nawaz M, Anjum AA, Firyal S, Shahid MA, Irfan S, Ahmed F and Bhatti AA 2022. Molecular characterization of antibiotic resistance in poultry gut origin Enterococci and horizontal gene transfer of antibiotic resistance to Staphylococcus aureus. Pak Vet J, 42(3): 383-389.


ISSN 0253-8318 (Print)
ISSN 2074-7764 (Online)