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Antibiotic resistance is an emerging threat in both human and veterinary medicine, and is particularly an issue for zoonotic bacterial infections. Companion animals may play an important role as a reservoir of resistant bacteria or resistance genes due to their exposure to antimicrobials and their close contact with human beings (Guardabassi and others 2004). Furthermore, human beings may be a reservoir of pathogens for their pets as seen with meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRS) (Rutland and others 2009), which supports the possibility of interspecies-exchange of resistant isolates. Extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing bacteria are of great concern in human medicine and are emerging in companion animals (Hunter and others 2010). Recently, Escherichia coli serogroup O25b, sequence type 131 (ST131), producing the ESBL CTX-M-15, has emerged worldwide as a highly virulent pandemic clone (B2-O25b-ST131), which is associated with human infections and is difficult to treat due to extensive multidrug resistance. Determining the prevalence of the B2-O25b-ST131 E coli clone in companion animals is potentially important for both canine welfare and public health. Ewers and others (2010), found that 5.6 per cent of ESBL-producing E coli isolated from companion animals from eight European countries (excluding the UK) belonged to this pandemic clone (Ewers and others 2010), while Pomba and others (2009), found the same clone in a …
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