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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1993 Jun;37(6):1247-52.

Novel gyrA point mutation in a strain of Escherichia coli resistant to fluoroquinolones but not to nalidixic acid.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Microbiologie Médicale, Faculté de Médecine Broussais-Hotel Dieu, Université Paris VI, France.


We have previously described a clinical isolate of Escherichia coli (Q2) that is highly resistant to fluoroquinolones (MIC of ciprofloxacin, 16 micrograms/ml) but susceptible to nalidixic acid (MIC of nalidixic acid, 4 micrograms/ml) (N. Moniot-Ville, J. Guibert, N. Moreau, J.F. Acar, E. Collatz, and L. Gutmann, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 35:519-523, 1991). Transformation of strain Q2 with a plasmid carrying the wild-type gyrA gene from E. coli K-12(pAFF801) resulted in a 32-fold decrease in the MIC of ciprofloxacin, suggesting that at least one mutation in gyrA was involved in the resistance of Q2. Intragenic gyrA fragments of 668 and 2,500 bp from strain Q2 were amplified by the polymerase chain reaction. We sequenced the 668-bp fragment and identified a single novel point mutation (transition from G to A at position 242), leading to an amino acid substitution (Gly-81 to Asp) in the gyrase A subunit. We constructed hybrid plasmids by substituting either the 668-bp fragment or the 2,500-bp fragment from Q2 DNA, both of which contained the gyrA point mutation, for the corresponding fragments in wild-type gyrA (2,625 bp) of E. coli K-12. When introduced into E. coli KNK453 (gyrA temperature sensitive), both plasmids conferred an eightfold increase in the MIC of ciprofloxacin, but only a twofold increase in the MIC of nalidixic acid. When introduced into E. coli Q2, neither plasmid conferred any change in the MICs of ciprofloxacin or nalidixic acid, suggesting that only the point mutation found in gyrA was involved in the resistance that we observed.

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