Clonal lineages of ESBL (Extended-Spectrum ß-Lactamase)-producing E. coli belonging to sequence type 131 (ST131) have disseminated globally during the last 30 years, leading to an increased prevalence of resistance to fluoroquinolones and extended-spectrum cephalosporins in clinical isolates of E. coli. We aimed to study if Swedish ESBL-producing ST131 isolates originated from single or multiple introductions to the population by assessing the amount of genetic variation, on chromosomal and plasmid level, between Swedish and international E. coli ST131. Bayesian inference of Swedish E. coli ST131 isolates (n?=?29), sequenced using PacBio RSII, together with an international ST131 dataset showed that the Swedish isolates were part of the international ST131 A, C1 and C2 clades. Highly conserved plasmids were identified in three clusters although they were separated by several years, which indicates a strong co-evolution between some ST131 lineages and specific plasmids. In conclusion, the tight clonal relationship observed within the ST131 clades, together with highly conserved plasmids, challenges investigation of strain transmission events. A combination of few SNPs on a genome-wide scale and an epidemiological temporospatial link, are needed to track the spread of the ST131 subclones.
Journal: Scientific reports