The IncI1 plasmid carrying the bla CTX-M-1 gene persists in in vitro culture of a Escherichia coli strain from broilers

Fischer, E.A.J.; Dierikx, C.M.; Essen-Zandbergen, A. van; Roermund, H.J.W. van; Mevius, D.J.; Stegeman, A.; Klinkenberg, D.


Commensal bacteria are a reservoir for antimicrobial-resistance genes. In the Netherlands, bacteria producing Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamases (ESBL) are found on chicken-meat and in the gut of broilers at a high prevalence and the predominant ESBL-gene is the blaCTX-M-1 located on IncI1 plasmids. We aim to determine the fitness costs of this plasmid for the bacterium. We investigated the conjugation dynamics of IncI1 plasmids carrying the blaCTX-M-1 gene in a batch culture and its impact on the population dynamics of three E. coli populations: donors, recipients and transconjugants. The intrinsic growth rate (¿), maximum density (K) and lag-phase (¿) of the populations were estimated as well as the conjugation coefficient. Loss of the plasmid by transconjugants was either assumed constant or depended on the effective growth rate of the transconjugants. Parameters were estimated from experiments with pure culture of donors, recipients and transconjugants and with mixed culture of donors and recipients with a duration of 24 or 48 hours. Extrapolation of the results was compared to a 3-months experiment in which a mixed culture of recipient and transconjugant was regularly diluted in new medium.