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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2006 Oct;12(10):1013-20.

Occurrence of qnrA-positive clinical isolates in French teaching hospitals during 2002-2005.

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Bactériologie-Virologie-Hygiène, CHU Henri Mondor, AP-HP, Université Paris XII, Paris, France.


Bacteria harbouring the novel qnrA plasmid-mediated mechanism of quinolone resistance have been described in different countries, but the frequency of their occurrence has not been investigated. In total, 1,468 clinical isolates of Enterobacteriaceae with quinolone resistance or extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) phenotypes were collected from eight teaching hospitals in France during 2002-2005 and screened for qnrA. Overall, 28 isolates (22 Enterobacter cloacae, three Klebsiella pneumoniae, one Citrobacter freundii, one Klebsiella oxytoca and one Proteus mirabilis) were positive for qnrA, representing 1.9% of all isolates, 3.3% of ESBL-producing isolates (22% of the E. cloacae isolates) and 0% of non-ESBL-producing isolates. The prevalence of qnrA among consecutive ESBL-producing isolates in 2004 from the eight hospitals was 2.8% (18/639). Of the qnrA-positive isolates, 100% were intermediately-resistant or resistant to nalidixic acid, and 75% to ciprofloxacin. Twenty-one of the 22 qnrA-positive E. cloacae isolates were obtained from two hospitals in the Paris area, and molecular typing and plasmid content analysis showed clonal relationships for five, three and two isolates, respectively. The qnrA genetic environment was similar to that of the In36 integron. The remaining two isolates had qnrA variants (30 and 29 nucleotide differences, respectively, compared with the original sequence) and an unknown genetic environment. The ESBL gene associated with qnrA was bla(SHV-12) in most of the isolates, but bla(PER-1) and bla(SHV-2a) were found in two isolates. In France, it appears that qnrA-positive isolates are predominantly E. cloacae isolates producing SHV-12, and may be associated with the dissemination of an In36-like integron.

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