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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. Apr 2007; 51(4): 1223–1227.
Published online Jan 22, 2007. doi:  10.1128/AAC.01195-06
PMCID: PMC1855486

Prevalence of Plasmid-Mediated Quinolone Resistance Determinants QnrA, QnrB, and QnrS among Clinical Isolates of Enterobacter cloacae in a Taiwanese Hospital

Abstract

The prevalence of three plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance determinants, QnrA, QnrB, and QnrS, among 526 nonreplicate clinical isolates of Enterobacter cloacae collected at a Taiwanese university hospital in 2004 was determined by PCR and colony hybridization, and the association of Qnr with the IMP-8 metallo-β-lactamase was investigated. Eighty-six (16.3%) of all isolates were qnr positive, and the qnrA1-like, qnrB2-like, and qnrS1-like genes were detected alone or in combination in 3 (0.6%), 53 (10.1%), and 34 (6.5%) isolates, respectively. Among 149 putative extended-spectrum-β-lactamase-producing isolates, 59 (39.6%) isolates, all of which were SHV-12 producers, harbored qnrA (0.7%; 1 isolate), qnrB (28.9%; 43 isolates), or qnrS (12.1%; 18 isolates). Forty-four (78.6%) of 56 IMP-8 producers carried qnrB (58.9%; 33 isolates), qnrS (25.0%; 14 isolates), or both. PCR and sequence analysis revealed that qnrA1 was located in a complex sul1-type integron that contains dhr15, aadA2, qacEΔ1, sul1, orf513, qnrA1, ampR, and qacEΔ1. Conjugation experiments revealed the coexistence of qnrB and blaIMP-8 on the transferred plasmids and the absence of β-lactamase content on the transferred qnrS-positive plasmids. The transferred blaIMP-8-positive plasmids with and without qnrB had very similar restriction patterns, suggesting the horizontal mobility of qnrB. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis showed six major patterns among the 44 qnr-positive IMP-8-producing isolates. Thus, the extremely high prevalence of qnr among the metallo-β-lactamase-producing E. cloacae isolates in the hospital may be due mainly to the intrahospital spread of a few clones and the dissemination of plasmids containing both qnrB and blaIMP-8.


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