JOURNAL ARTICLE

Diversity of plasmids encoding virulence and resistance functions in Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium monophasic variant 4,[5],12:i:- strains circulating in Europe

Patricia García, Katie L Hopkins, Vanesa García, Janine Beutlich, M Carmen Mendoza, John Threlfall, Dik Mevius, Reiner Helmuth, M Rosario Rodicio, Beatriz Guerra
PloS One 2014, 9 (2): e89635
24586926
Plasmids encoding resistance and virulence properties in multidrug resistant (MDR) Salmonella enterica (S.) serovar Typhimurium monophasic variant 4,[5],12:i:- isolates recovered from pigs and humans (2006-2008) in Europe were characterised. The isolates were selected based on the detection by PCR-amplification of S. Typhimurium virulence plasmid pSLT genes and were analysed by multi-locus sequence typing (MLST). The resistance genes present in the isolates and the association of these genes with integrons, transposons and insertion sequences were characterised by PCR-sequencing, and their plasmid location was determined by alkaline lysis and by S1-nuclease pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) Southern-blot hybridisation. Plasmids were further analysed by replicon typing, plasmid MLST and conjugation experiments. The 10 S. 4,[5],12,i:- selected isolates belonged to ST19. Each isolate carried a large plasmid in which MDR with pSLT-associated virulence genes were located. After analysis, eight different plasmids of three incompatibility groups (IncA/C, IncR and IncF) were detected. Two IncA/C plasmids represented novel variants within the plasmid family of the S. 4,[5],12:i:- Spanish clone, and carried an empty class 1 integron with a conventional qacEΔ1-sul1 3' conserved segment or an In-sul3 type III with estX-psp-aadA2-cmlA1-aadA1-qacH variable region linked to tnpA440-sul3, part of Tn2, Tn21 and Tn1721 transposons, and ISCR2. Four newly described IncR plasmids contained the resistance genes within In-sul3 type I (dfrA12-orfF-aadA2-cmlA1-aadA1-qacH/tnpA440-sul3) and part of Tn10 [tet(B)]. Two pSLT-derivatives with FIIs-ST1+FIB-ST17 replicons carried cmlA1-[aadA1-aadA2]-sul3-dfrA12 and blaTEM-1 genes linked to an In-sul3 type I integron and to Tn2, respectively. In conclusion, three emerging European clones of S. 4,[5],12:i:- harboured MDR plasmids encoding additional virulence functions that could contribute significantly to their evolutionary success.

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