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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2000 Jun;44(6):1568-74.

Antibiotic resistance in the ECOR collection: integrons and identification of a novel aad gene.

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Unité de Programmation Moléculaire et Toxicologie Génétique, Institut Pasteur, 75724 Paris cedex 15, France.


The 72 Escherichia coli strains of the ECOR collection were examined for resistance to 10 different antimicrobial agents including ampicillin, tetracycline, mercury, trimethoprim, and sulfonamides. Eighteen strains were resistant to at least one of the antibiotics tested, and nearly 20% (14 of 72) were resistant to two or more. Several of the resistance determinants were shown to be carried on conjugative elements. The collection was screened for the presence of the three classes of integrons and for the sul1 gene, which is generally associated with class 1 integrons. The four strains found to carry a class 1 integron also had Tn21-encoded mercury resistance. One of the integrons encoded a novel streptomycin resistance gene, aadA7, with an attC site (or 59-base element) nearly identical to the attC site associated with the qacF gene cassette found in In40 (M.-C. Ploy, P. Courvalin, and T. Lambert, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 42:2557-2563, 1998). The conservation of associated attC sites among unrelated resistance cassettes is similar to arrangements found in the Vibrio cholerae superintegrons (D. Mazel, B. Dychinco, V. A. Webb, and J. Davies, Science 280:605-608, 1998) and supports the hypothesis that resistance cassettes are picked up from superintegron pools and independently assembled from unrelated genes and related attC sites.

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