Genomic insights into the circulation of pandemic fluoroquinolone-resistant extra-intestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli ST1193 in Vietnam.
Nguyen Q., Nguyen TTN., Pham P., Chau V., Nguyen LPH., Nguyen TD., Ha TT., Le NTQ., Vu DT., Baker S., Thwaites GE., Rabaa MA., Pham DT.
Extra-intestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) ST1193, a globally emergent fluoroquinolone-resistant clone, has become an important cause of bloodstream infections (BSIs) associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Previous studies have reported the emergence of fluoroquinolone-resistant ExPEC ST1193 in Vietnam; however, limited data exist regarding the genetic structure, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) determinants and transmission dynamics of this pandemic clone. Here, we performed genomic and phylogenetic analyses of 46 ST1193 isolates obtained from BSIs and healthy individuals in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to investigate the pathogen population structure, molecular mechanisms of AMR and potential transmission patterns. We further examined the phylogenetic structure of ST1193 isolates in a global context. We found that the endemic E. coli ST1193 population was heterogeneous and highly dynamic, largely driven by multiple strain importations. Several well-supported phylogenetic clusters (C1-C6) were identified and associated with distinct blaCTX-M variants, including blaCTXM-27 (C1-C3, C5), blaCTXM-55 (C4) and blaCTXM-15 (C6). Most ST1193 isolates were multidrug-resistant and carried an extensive array of AMR genes. ST1193 isolates also exhibited the ability to acquire further resistance while circulating in Vietnam. There were phylogenetic links between ST1193 isolates from BSIs and healthy individuals, suggesting these organisms may both establish long-term colonization in the human intestinal tract and induce infections. Our study uncovers factors shaping the population structure and transmission dynamics of multidrug-resistant ST1193 in Vietnam, and highlights the urgent need for local One Health genomic surveillance to capture new emerging ExPEC clones and to better understand the origins and transmission patterns of these pathogens.