Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an important human opportunistic pathogen responsible for fatal nosocomial infections worldwide, and has emerged as a relevant animal pathogen. Treatment options are dramatically decreasing, due to antimicrobial resistance and the microorganism's large versatile genome. Antimicrobial resistance profiles, serotype frequency and genomic profile of unrelated P. aeruginosa isolates of veterinary origin (n = 73), including domesticated, farm, zoo and wild animals mainly from Portugal were studied. The genomic profile, determined by DiversiLab system (Rep-PCR-based technique), was compared with the P. aeruginosa global population structure to evaluate their relatedness.
Around 40% of the isolates expressed serotypes O6 (20.5%) and O1 (17.8%). A total of 46.6% of isolates was susceptible to all antimicrobials tested. Isolates obtained from most animals were non-multidrug resistant (86.3%), whereas 11% were multidrug resistant, MDR (non-susceptible to at least one agent in ≥ three antimicrobial categories), and 2.7% extensively drug resistant, XDR (non-susceptible to at least one agent in all but two or fewer antimicrobial categories). Resistance percentages were as follows: amikacin (0.0%), aztreonam (41.1%), cefepime (9.6%), ceftazidime (2.7%), ciprofloxacin (15.1%), colistin (0.0%), gentamicin (12.3%), imipenem (1.4%), meropenem (1.4%), piperacillin + tazobactam (12.3%), ticarcillin (16.4%), ticarcillin + clavulanic acid (17.8%), and tobramycin (1.4%). Animal isolates form a population with a non-clonal epidemic structure indistinguishable from the global P. aeruginosa population structure, where no specific 'animal clonal lineage' was detected.
Serotypes O6 and O1 were the most frequent. Serotype frequency and antimicrobial resistance patterns found in P. aeruginosa from animals were as expected for this species. This study confirms earlier results that P. aeruginosa has a non-clonal population structure, and shows that P. aeruginosa population from animals is homogeneously scattered and indistinguishable from the global population structure.