First detection of fosfomycin resistance gene fosA3 in CTX-M-producing Escherichia coli isolates from healthy individuals in Japan

Natsumi Sato, Kumiko Kawamura, Kunihiko Nakane, Jun-Ichi Wachino, Yoshichika Arakawa
Microbial Drug Resistance: MDR: Mechanisms, Epidemiology, and Disease 2013, 19 (6): 477-82
We examined the prevalence and mechanism of fosfomycin resistance in CTX-M-producing Escherichia coli isolates from healthy Japanese individuals. One hundred thirty-eight CTX-M-producing E. coli isolates were subjected to fosfomycin susceptibility testing. The presence of acquired fosfomycin resistance genes such as fosA, fosA3, and fosC2 was explored, and the transmissibility of fosfomycin resistance, replicon type of plasmid, and genetic environment of fosA3 were investigated. Eight isolates (5.8%) showed resistance to fosfomycin, five of which harbored fosA3, which was in genetic linkage with blaCTX-M. The replicon types of the five transferred fosA3-carrying plasmids were as follows: IncI1 (n=2), IncN (n=1), and IncFII (n=2). Each fosA3 gene was located close to the blaCTX-M gene and was flanked by IS26 elements. These genetic environments of fosA3 in E. coli from healthy individuals were quite similar to those observed in the clinical and veterinary settings. Our results indicate that fosA3 genes possibly inserted by small mobile genetic elements flanked by two IS26 elements have already spread throughout the plasmids along with the blaCTX-M genes of commensal E. coli colonizing in healthy Japanese people.

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