Antibiotic resistance genes, mobile elements, virulence genes, and phages in cultivated ESBL-producing Escherichia coli of poultry origin in Kwara State, North Central Nigeria

Ahmad Ibrahim Al-Mustapha*, Ibrahim Adisa Raufu, Oluwaseun Adeolu Ogundijo, Ismail Ayoade Odetokun, Ananda Tiwari, Michael S.M. Brouwer, Victoria Adetunji, Annamari Heikinheimo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The paucity of information on the genomic diversity of drug-resistant bacteria in most food-producing animals, including poultry in Nigeria, has led to poor hazard characterization and the lack of critical control points to safeguard public health. Hence, this study used whole genome sequencing (WGS) to assess the presence and the diversity of antibiotic resistance genes, mobile genetic elements, virulence genes, and phages in Extended Spectrum Beta Lactamase producing Escherichia coli (ESBL – E. coli) isolates obtained from poultry via the EURL guideline of 2017 in Ilorin, Nigeria. The prevalence of ESBL – E. coli in poultry was 10.5 % (n = 37/354). The phenotypic antibiotic susceptibility testing showed that all the ESBL— E. coli isolates were multi-drug resistant (MDR). The in-silico analysis of the WGS raw-read data from 11 purposively selected isolates showed that the isolates had a wide array of ARGs that conferred resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics, and 8 other classes of antibiotics (fluoroquinolones, foliate pathway antagonists, aminoglycoside, phenicol, tetracycline, epoxide, macrolides, and rifamycin). All the ARGs were in the bacterial chromosome except in two isolates where plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance (PMQR) was detected. Two isolates carried the gyrAp.S83L mutation which confers resistance to certain fluoroquinolones. The mobilome consisted of several Col-plasmids and the predominant IncF plasmids belonged to the IncF64:A-:B27 sequence type. The virulome consisted of genes that function as adhesins, iron acquisition genes, toxins, and protectins. Intact phages were found in 8 of the 11 isolates and the phageome consisted of representatives of four families of viruses: Myoviridae (62.5 %, n = 5/8), Siphoviridae (37.5 %, n = 3/8), Inoviridae (12.5 %, n = 1), and Podoviridae (12.5 %, n = 1/8). ESBL - E. coli isolates harboured 1–5 intact phages and no ARGs were identified on any of the phages. Although five of the isolates belonged to phylogroup A, the isolates were diverse as they belonged to different serotype and sequence types. Our findings demonstrate the high genomic diversity of ESBL - E. coli of poultry origin in Ilorin, Nigeria. These diverse isolates harbor clinically relevant ARGs, mobile elements, virulence genes, and phages that may have detrimental zoonotic potentials on human health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110086
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Food Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2023


  • AMR
  • ARGs
  • Coliphages
  • ESBL- E. coli
  • Nigeria
  • One-health
  • Poultry
  • WGS


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