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J Bacteriol. 2006 Oct;188(20):7151-64.

Identification and sequence of a tet(M) tetracycline resistance determinant homologue in clinical isolates of Escherichia coli.

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  • 1Infectious Diseases Research, Wyeth, Pearl River, NY 10965, USA. jonesh3@wyeth.com


The presence of the tetracycline resistance determinant tet(M) in human clinical isolates of Escherichia coli is described for the first time in this report. The homologue was >99% identical to the tet(M) genes reported to occur in Lactobacillus plantarum, Neisseria meningitidis, and Streptococcus agalactiae, and 3% of the residues in its deduced amino acid sequence diverge from tet(M) of Staphylococcus aureus. Sequence analysis of the regions immediately flanking the gene revealed that sequences upstream of tet(M) in E. coli have homology to Tn916; however, a complete IS26 insertion element was present immediately upstream of the promoter element. Downstream from the termination codon is an insertion sequence that was homologous to the ISVs1 element reported to occur in a plasmid from Vibrio salmonicida that has been associated with another tetracycline resistance determinant, tet(E). Results of mating experiments demonstrated that the E. coli tet(M) gene was on a mobile element so that resistance to tetracycline and minocycline could be transferred to a susceptible strain by conjugation. Expression of the cloned tet(M) gene, under the control of its own promoter, provided tetracycline and minocycline resistance to the E. coli host.

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