Biomaterials, Biodegradables and Biomimetics Research Group

Papers in Scientific Journals

Antimicrobial resistance and virulence genes in Escherichia coli and enterococci from red foxes (Vulpes vulpes)


The aims of the study were to analyse the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance and the mechanisms implicated, as well as the virulence factors, in faecal Escherichia coli and Enterococcus spp. from red foxes. From 52 faecal samples, 22 E. coli (42.3%) and 50 enterococci (96.2%) isolates were recovered (one/sample). A high percentage of E. coli isolates exhibited resistance to streptomycin, tetracycline, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole or ampicillin (54-27%), and they harboured the aadA, tet(A)and/or tet(B), sul1 and blaTEM resistance genes, respectively. The E. coli isolates were ascribed to the 4 major phylogroups, D (41% of isolates), A (31.8%), B1 (18.2%) and B2 (9.1%), and carried the fimA (63.3%) or aer (13.6%) virulence genes. Among enterococcal isolates, E. faecium was the most prevalent species (50%). A high percentage of enterococcal isolates showed tetracycline resistance (88%) harbouring different combinations of tet(M) and tet(L) genes. The erm(B) or the aph(3′)-IIIa gene were identified in most of our erythromycin- or kanamycin-resistant enterococci, respectively. This report suggests the role of red foxes from rural areas in the cycle of transmission and spread of antimicrobial resistant E. coli and enterococci into the environment, representing a reservoir of these antimicrobial-resistant microorganisms. 

Antimicrobial resistance, E. coli, Enterococci, Phylogenetic groups, Red Foxes, Virulence factors
Open Access
Peer Reviewed
This website uses cookies. By using this website you consent to our use of these cookies. For more information visit our Policy Page.