The prevalence of carriage of antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) and extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli was determined in 183 healthy dogs from a semi-rural community in Cheshire. Isolates were tested against a panel of antimicrobials and by PCR to detect resistance genes. In the suspected ESBL-producing isolates, the presence of blaSHV, blaTEM, blaCTX-M and blaAmpC genes was determined by PCR and sequencing. A total of 53 (29 per cent, 95 per cent confidence interval [CI] 22.4 to 35.5 per cent) dogs carried at least one AMR E coli isolate. Twenty-four per cent (95 per cent CI 17.9 to 30.2 per cent) of dogs carried isolates resistant to ampicillin, 19.7 per cent (95 per cent CI 13.9 to 25.4 per cent) to tetracycline and 16.9 per cent (95 per cent CI 11.5 to 22.4 per cent) to trimethoprim. A blaTEM gene was detected in 39 of 54 ampicillin-resistant isolates, a tet(B) gene in 12 of 45 tetracycline-resistant isolates, and a dfr gene in 22 of 33 trimethoprim-resistant isolates. Multidrug-resistant isolates were demonstrated in 15 per cent (28 of 183; 95 per cent CI 10.1 to 20.5 per cent) of dogs. Nine suspected ESBL-producing E coli were isolated, of which only one was confirmed by double disc diffusion testing. Two of these isolates carried the blaTEM-1 gene and seven carried the blaCMY-2 gene.
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