Horizontal transfer of antibiotic resistance determinants contributes to dissemination of antibiotic resistance. Such transfer of resistance genes within the human gut has been documented in some in vivo studies. The present study investigated seven bla CTX-M-1-carrying Escherichia coli isolates from three consecutive faecal samples collected from one cystic fibrosis patient in a nine-months period, by analysing whole genome sequencing data. The analyses showed that the seven E. coli isolates represented three genetically diverse strains. All isolates contained bla CTX-M-1-carrying Incl1 plasmids that shared a common 101 kb backbone differing by only four SNPs. The plasmids harboured by the three different E. coli strains varied within limited regions suggestive of recombination events, according to the phylogenetic topology of the genomes of the isolates harbouring them. The findings strongly suggest that horizontal transfer of a bla CTX-M-1-carrying plasmid had occurred within the patient´s gut. The study illustrates the within-host diversity of faecally carried resistant E. coli isolates and highlights the value of collecting multiple bacterial colonies from longitudinally collected samples to assess faecal carriage of resistant enterobacteria. The clustering of the plasmids with the corresponding E. coli strains carrying them indicates that the plasmids appear to have adapted to their respective E. coli hosts.
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