JOURNAL ARTICLE

Recombination of plasmids in a carbapenem-resistant NDM-5-producing clinical Escherichia coli isolate

Miaomiao Xie, Ruichao Li, Zhonghua Liu, Edward Wai Chi Chan, Sheng Chen
Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 2018 May 1, 73 (5): 1230-1234
29373691

Objectives: To investigate the genetic features of five plasmids recovered from an NDM-5-producing clinical Escherichia coli strain, BJ114, and to characterize the plasmid recombination event that occurred during the conjugation process.

Methods: The genetic profiles of the five plasmids were determined by PCR, conjugation, S1-PFGE, Southern hybridization and WGS analysis. Plasmid sequences were analysed with various bioinformatic tools.

Results: Complete sequences of five plasmids were obtained. Two small plasmids, pBJ114-141 and pBJ114-46, were speculated to have recombined into a large fusion plasmid, pBJ114T-190. When conjugated to other E. coli strains, some of the fusion plasmids were able to be resolved into the original two single plasmids. A non-conjugative plasmid, pBJ114-96, exhibited a high degree of sequence identity with the phage P7-like plasmid as well as an mcr-1-bearing plasmid. Another plasmid, pBJ114-78, was found to contain multidrug resistance genes and various mobile elements.

Conclusions: The fusion plasmid recoverable from the transconjugant was found to be generated as a result of a recombination event that occurred upon interaction between a blaNDM-5-carrying plasmid and another plasmid present in the parental strain. Such recombination events presumably play a potential role in the dissemination of the blaNDM genes among different plasmids and pathogenic bacterial strains.

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