The use of antimicrobials in food animals is the major determinant for the propagation of resistant bacteria in the animal reservoir. The objective of this study was to investigate the presence and distribution of third-generation cephalosporin (3GC)-resistant and plasmid-mediated AmpC (pAmpC)-producing Escherichia coli isolated from food animals in Southern China. In total, 744 3GC-resistant and 40 blaCMY-2-positive E. coli strains were recovered from 1656 food animal fecal samples across five rearing regions. The blaCMY-2 genes were located on IncC, IncFIB or IncI1 type plasmids in 12 E. coli isolates. In the other 22 isolates, S1-PFGE and hybridization analyses revealed that the blaCMY-2 gene was chromosomally located and demonstrated a high prevalence of the chromosomally encoded blaCMY-2 gene in E. coli. Plasmid stability and growth curve experiments demonstrated that IncI1, IncC and IncFIB plasmids can exist stably in the host bacteria and with a low...

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