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Clonal relatedness of Proteus mirabilis strains causing urinary tract infections in companion animals and humans

Marques, Cátia, Belas, Adriana, Aboim, Catarina, Trigueiro, Graça, Cavaco-Silva, Patrícia, Gama, Luís Telo, Pomba, Constança
Veterinary microbiology 2019 v.228 pp. 77-82
Proteus mirabilis, animal diseases, antibiotic resistance, bacterial infections, cats, dogs, humans, multiple drug resistance, patients, pets, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, resistance genes, urinary tract diseases, virulence
Proteus mirabilis is a major cause of urinary tract infection (UTI) in humans and companion animals. This study aimed to evaluate the antimicrobial resistance, virulence and clonal relatedness of P. mirabilis isolated from dogs, cats and humans with UTI.P. mirabilis isolated from companion animals (N = 107) and humans (N = 76) with UTI were compared by PFGE analysis after overnight NotI macro-restriction using Dice/UPGMA with a 1.5% tolerance. Strains were characterized for antimicrobial resistance by disk diffusion. Twenty-four resistance genes and four virulence genes were screened by PCR.Thirty-nine clusters (similarity >80%) and 73 single pulse-types were detected. Nine clusters included P. mirabilis isolated from community and hospital patients, including strains with 100% similarity. A high number of clusters (43.6%, n = 17/39) included strains from companion animals and humans. Similarity between some companion animal and human strains varied between 80–100%. One strain from a dog was 100% similar to one human community-acquired P. mirabilis. One P. mirabilis from a cat was found to be 94.7% and 92.4% similar to community and hospital patient strains, respectively. P. mirabilis CMY-2-producers did not cluster all together. Nevertheless, cluster C36 included five P. mirabilis from companion animals (similarity 85.8%–95.7%), of which, four (80%) were multidrug-resistant CMY-2-producers.This study shows that companion animals and humans become infected with closely related P. mirabilis strains. The high number of clusters containing companion animals and human strains points to the zoonotic nature of P. mirabilis. These results underline the potential role of companion animals as reservoirs and in the dissemination of uropathogenic P. mirabilis to humans and vice versa.