Emerging Increase in Colistin Resistance Rates in Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica from Türkiye


Current Microbiology, vol.80, no.7, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 80 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00284-023-03323-y
  • Journal Name: Current Microbiology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, EMBASE, Environment Index, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Foodborne infections caused by drug-resistant Salmonella spp. are a global health concern. Moreover, commensal Escherichia coli is considered risky due to the presence of antimicrobial resistance genes. Colistin is considered a last-resort antibiotic against Gram-negative bacterial infections. Colistin resistance can be transferred both vertically, and horizontally via conjugation between bacterial species. Plasmid-mediated resistance has been associated with mcr-1 to mcr-10 genes. In this study, we collected food samples (n = 238), and isolated E. coli (n = 36) and Salmonella (n = 16), representing recent isolates. We included previously collected Salmonella (n = 197) and E. coli (n = 56) from various sources from 2010 to 2015 in Türkiye as representing historical isolates to investigate colistin-resistance over time. In all isolates, colistin resistance was screened phenotypically by minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC), and then in resistant isolates, mcr-1 to mcr-5 genes were further screened. In addition, the antibiotic resistance of recent isolates was determined, and antibiotic resistance genes were investigated. We found that in total 20 Salmonella isolates (9.38%) and 23 of the E. coli isolates (25%) showed phenotypic colistin resistance. Interestingly, the majority of colistin-resistant isolates (N:32) had resistance levels above 128 mg/L. Furthermore 75% of commensal E. coli isolates recently isolated were resistant at least 3 antibiotics. Overall, we found that the colistin resistance has been increased from 8.12 to 25% in Salmonella isolates, and 7.14% to 52.8% in E. coli isolates over time. However, none of these resistant isolates carried mcr genes, most likely indicating emerging chromosomal colistin resistance.