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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2006 Apr;57(4):666-72. Epub 2006 Feb 7.

The role of horizontal gene transfer in the spread of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole resistance among uropathogenic Escherichia coli in Europe and Canada.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology, University of Michigan, School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, 48109, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To describe the distribution of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole resistance genes and the role of horizontal gene transfer and clonal expansion in recent increases of antibiotic resistance rates among uropathogenic Escherichia coli in Europe and Canada.

METHODS:

We identified antibiotic resistance alleles sul1, sul2, sul3 and dfr along with type 1 and type 2 integrons among 350 uropathogenic E. coli isolates from a cross-sectional study of acute, uncomplicated, community-acquired urinary tract infections in 16 western European countries and Canada (ECOSENS).

RESULTS:

Trimethoprim resistance gene distributions showed no regional dependency (P = 0.84). The most common trimethoprim resistance gene was dfrA1, which occurred in 37.9% of dfr containing isolates. Similarly, the sulfamethoxazole resistance gene distributions did not vary significantly by region (P = 0.20). sul2, the most common sulfamethoxazole resistance gene, was found in 77.9% of sulfamethoxazole-resistant isolates. The distribution of type 1 and type 2 integrons varied slightly by region (P = 0.04) with type 1 integrons being the more common (85.9%). We observed 34 combinations of the sul genes, dfr genes and integron types; the most common combinations were broadly disseminated across every region examined.

CONCLUSIONS:

Horizontal gene transfer plays a larger role than clonal expansion in the increase of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole resistance levels in Europe and Canada.

PMID:
16464890
DOI:
10.1093/jac/dkl020
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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