A novel multidrug resistance plasmid isolated from an Escherichia coli strain resistant to aminoglycosides

Hui Sun, Shasha Li, Zhijing Xie, Fangfang Yang, Yani Sun, Yanli Zhu, Xiaomin Zhao, Shijin Jiang
Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 2012, 67 (7): 1635-8

OBJECTIVES: Previous studies have reported several different plasmids that confer multidrug resistance (MDR) including resistance to aminoglycosides. In this study, we investigated the aminoglycoside resistance patterns for 224 Escherichia coli isolates from diseased chickens and ducks in China, characterized a novel MDR plasmid, and collected prevalence data on similar resistance plasmids.

METHODS: Antibiotic susceptibilities were determined using disc diffusion and the microdilution method. The plasmid pXZ was analysed by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) with EcoRI and SalI, and sequenced. The prevalence of similar resistance plasmids was assessed by multiplex PCR and by RFLP analysis.

RESULTS: Among the 224 E. coli isolates, 189 (84.4%) were resistant to streptomycin, 125 (55.8%) were resistant to kanamycin, 116 (51.8%) were resistant to gentamicin, 106 (47.3%) were resistant to neomycin and 98 (43.8%) were resistant to amikacin. Among the 224 E. coli isolates, 17 contained a plasmid with the MDR-encoding region of pXZ, which showed high-level resistance to aminoglycosides (MICs of gentamicin and amikacin ≥ 512 mg/L). The plasmid pXZ was digested into five fragments by EcoRI and six fragments by SalI. The plasmid pXZ was a circular DNA molecule of 76635 bp with a 51.65% guanine + cytosine content and included four resistance genes (rmtB, fosA3, bla(TEM-1) and bla(CTX-M-24)).

CONCLUSIONS: A novel MDR plasmid, pXZ, harbouring four resistance genes (rmtB, fosA3, bla(TEM-1) and bla(CTX-M)) was identified. To our knowledge, this is the first report of an aminoglycoside resistance plasmid harbouring the fosA3 gene.

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