Incidence of antimicrobial-resistance genes and integrons in antibiotic-resistant bacteria isolated from eels and aquaculture ponds

Mao Lin, Xiaomei Wu, Qingpi Yan, Ying Ma, Lixing Huang, Yingxue Qin, Xiaojin Xu
Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 2016 July 7, 120 (2): 115-23
The overuse of antimicrobials in aquaculture has promoted the selection of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria. Here we investigated the abundance of antimicrobial-resistance genes and integrons in 108 strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria isolated from eels and aquaculture ponds in China. Conventional PCR was implemented to examine common antibiotic-resistance genes, integrons, and their gene cassette arrays. The results showed that the antibiotic-resistance genes blaTEM, tetC, sulI, aadA, floR, and qnrB were detected at high percentages, as were a number of other resistance genes. Class I integrons were present in 79.63% of the strains, and 10 out of 108 isolates carried class II integrons. Class III integrons were not detected. Three strains carried both class I and class II integrons, and 73.26% of the class I integron-positive isolates contained the qacEΔ1/sul1 gene. Fourteen types of integron cassette arrays were found among class I integron-positive isolates. A new array, dfrB4-catB3-blaOXA-10-aadA1, was discovered in this study. The gene cassette array dfrA12-orfF-aadA2 was the most widely distributed. In summary, 23 different gene cassettes encoding resistance to 8 classes of antibiotics were identified in the class I integrons, and the main cassettes contained genes encoding resistance to aminoglycosides (aad) and trimethoprim (dfr). All class II integron-positive strains had only a single gene cassette array, viz. dfrA1-catB2-sat2-aadA1. High levels of antimicrobial-resistance genes and integrons in eels and auqauculture ponds suggest that the overuse of antimicrobials should be strictly controlled and that the levels of bacterial antimicrobial-resistance genes in aquaculture should be monitored.

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