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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. Jul 1996; 40(7): 1695–1698.
PMCID: PMC163397

Identification for mar mutants among quinolone-resistant clinical isolates of Escherichia coli.


Quinolone-resistant clinical Escherichia coli isolates were examined for mutations in the marRAB operon of the multiple antibiotic resistance (mar) locus. Among 23 strains evaluated, 8 were chosen for further study: 3 that showed relatively high levels of uninduced, i.e., constitutive, expression of the operon and 5 with variable responses to induction by salicylate or tetracyclines. The marR genes, specifying the repressor of the operon, cloned from the three strains constitutively expressing the operon did not reduce the level of expression of beta-galactosidase from a marO::lacZ transcriptional fusion and were therefore mutant; however, marR genes cloned from the five other clinical strains repressed LacZ expression and were wild type. All three mutant marR genes contained more than one mutation: a deletion and a point mutation. Inactivation of the mar locus in the three known marR mutant strains with a kanamycin resistance cassette introduced by homologous recombination reduced resistance to quinolones and multiple antibiotics. These findings indicate that mar operon mutations exist in quinolone-resistant clinical E. coli isolates and contribute to quinolone and multidrug resistance.

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Selected References

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