IncA/C plasmids mediate antimicrobial resistance linked to virulence genes in the Spanish clone of the emerging Salmonella enterica serotype 4,[5],12:i:−

Garcia, P.; Guerra, B.; Bances, M.; Mendoza, M. C.; Rodicio, M. R.

Objectives: To broaden knowledge of the molecular bases and genetics of multidrug resistance in clinical isolates of Salmonella enterica serotype 4,5,12:i:− belonging to the Spanish clone. Methods: The relatedness of the isolates was determined by phage typing and XbaI-PFGE. Resistance genes, integrons and transposable elements were identified by PCR amplification and sequencing. Plasmids were characterized by alkaline lysis, S1-PFGE, conjugation, replicon typing and Southern blot hybridization. Results: The isolates were closely related and resistant to five to seven antimicrobials (ampicillin, chloramphenicol, gentamicin, streptomycin/spectinomycin, sulphonamides, trimethoprim and tetracycline, arranged in different combinations). Most of the responsible genes were provided by a conventional class 1 integron with the dfrA12-orfF-aadA2 variable region, an atypical class 1 integron containing sul3 next to the estX-psp-aadA2-cmlA1-aadA1 variable region and a truncated Tn1721 transposon carrying tet(A). A defective Tn21 with the mer operon and ISVsa3 associated with sul2 were also detected. All resistance genes and mobile genetic elements were located on large, non-conjugative and highly variable plasmids carrying one (A/C) or two (A/C and N) replicons, as well as virulence genes of pSLT. Conclusions IncA/C plasmids are responsible for multidrug resistance in an increasing number of relevant human and animal bacterial pathogens, and hence are regarded as an important threat to public health. Those found in the Spanish clone of Salmonella 4,5,12:i:− constitute a relevant example of short-term evolution, and could have been involved in the successful adaptation of this pathogen.

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Garcia, P. / Guerra, B. / Bances, M. / et al: IncA/C plasmids mediate antimicrobial resistance linked to virulence genes in the Spanish clone of the emerging Salmonella enterica serotype 4,[5],12:i:−. 2011.

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