Characterization of plasmids carrying oqxAB in bla(CTX-M)-negative Escherichia coli isolates from food-producing animals

Bao-Tao Liu, Liang Li, Liang-Xing Fang, Jian Sun, Xiao-Ping Liao, Qiu-E Yang, Ting Huang, Ya-Hong Liu
Microbial Drug Resistance: MDR: Mechanisms, Epidemiology, and Disease 2014, 20 (6): 641-50
To study the characteristics of plasmids harboring oqxAB among bla(CTX-M)-negative Escherichia coli isolates and search for oqxAB-harboring plasmids similar to plasmids carrying oqxAB-bla(CTX-M) reported previously, conjugation experiment was performed for 115 randomly selected oqxAB-positive but bla(CTX-M)-negative E. coli isolates from diseased animals in Guangdong, China. S1 nuclease pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and southern blotting experiments were performed to investigate the location of oqxAB and other resistance genes. The EcoRI digestion profiles of the plasmids with oqxAB were also analyzed. The clonal relatedness of donor isolates was investigated by PFGE. In this study, 32 oqxAB transconjugants were successfully obtained and most transconjugants showed multidrug resistances. Eleven replicon combination types were found in these transconjugants. floR and oqxAB were found on the same plasmids in all nine transconjugants resistant to florfenicol. The sequences between floR and oqxAB were identical in most transconjugants and the two genes were both linked with tnp in insertion sequences. Nine F18:A-:B1 plasmids with only oqxAB shared identical EcoRI digestion profiles and the profiles were also identical with that of a plasmid carrying oqxAB-bla(CTX-M) found previously. Co-transfer of plasmids carrying oqxAB and fosA3, respectively, was also observed in one isolate. This study demonstrates the dissemination of oqxAB among bla(CTX-M)-negative E. coli isolates was mainly mediated by identical F18:A-:B1 plasmids. A novel arrangement of regions between floR and oqxAB might play an important role in the dissemination of floR-oqxAB. This is the first description of the genetic environment of the relationship between oqxAB and floR in E. coli.

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