Short communication: Genetic characterization of antimicrobial resistance in Acinetobacter isolates recovered from bulk tank milk

M D Tamang, M Gurung, H M Nam, S R Kim, G C Jang, S C Jung, S K Lim
Journal of Dairy Science 2014, 97 (2): 704-9
A total of 176 Acinetobacter isolates, including 57 Acinetobacter baumannii originally obtained from 2,287 bulk tank milk (BTM) samples in Korea was investigated for the genetic basis of antimicrobial resistance using molecular methods. In addition, the occurrence and cassette content of integrons were examined and the genetic diversity of A. baumannii strains identified was evaluated. Aminoglycoside-modifying enzyme genes were detected in 15 (88.2%) of the 17 aminoglycoside-resistant Acinetobacter isolates tested. The most common aminoglycoside-modifying enzyme gene identified was adenylyltransferase gene aadB (n = 9), followed by phosphotransferase genes aphA6 (n = 7) and aphA1 (n = 5). Of the 31 isolates resistant to tetracycline, tet(39) was detected in 20 of them. The genetic basis of resistance to sulfonamide was identified in 15 (53.6%) of 28 trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole-resistant isolates and 9 (32.1%) of them carried both sul1 and sul2 genes. A blaADC-7-like gene was detected in 1 β-lactam-resistant A. baumannii. Furthermore, class 1 integron was identified in 11 Acinetobacter isolates. Two gene cassettes dfrA15, conferring resistance to trimethoprim, and aadA2, conferring resistance to aminoglycosides, were identified in 8 Acinetobacter isolates. None of the isolates was positive for class 2 or class 3 integrons. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis revealed that most of the A. baumannii strains from BTM samples were genetically diverse, indicating that the occurrence of A. baumannii strains in BTM was not the result of dissemination of a single clone. Elucidation of resistance mechanisms associated with the resistance phenotype and a better understanding of resistance genes may help in the development of strategies to control infections, such as mastitis, and to prevent further dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of molecular characterization of antimicrobial-resistant Acinetobacter spp. from milk.

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