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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2008 Feb;61(2):291-5. Epub 2007 Nov 20.

Prevalence of qnr genes among extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing enterobacterial isolates in Barcelona, Spain.

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Department of Microbiology, Hospital Vall d'Hebron, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.



To evaluate the presence of qnr genes among enterobacterial isolates carrying extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs) in Barcelona, Spain.


Screening for the qnrA, qnrB and qnrS genes was carried out by PCR amplification with specific primers in 305 non-duplicate, clinically relevant ESBL-producing enterobacterial isolates obtained from February 2003 to August 2004. ESBLs from all qnr-positive isolates were characterized by isoelectric focusing, PCR amplification and DNA sequencing. Plasmid analysis was performed by S1 digestion and hybridization with specific probes for the qnr and bla genes. Plasmids containing qnr genes were transferred by conjugation or transformation. The genetic environment of qnrA1 in selected isolates was characterized by cloning experiments.


Fifteen isolates, each from a different individual, carried qnr. Among them, 14 had qnrA1 (6 Klebsiella pneumoniae, 6 Enterobacter cloacae and 2 Escherichia coli isolates) and 1 had qnrS1 (K. pneumoniae). None of the isolates carried qnrB. Among the qnrA1-carrying isolates, 10 possessed both bla(CTX-M-9) and bla(SHV-12), 2 had both bla(CTX-M-9) and bla(SHV-92) and 2 had bla(CTX-M-9) alone. The isolate with qnrS1 possessed bla(SHV-12). The qnrA1 and ESBL genes were located together on plasmids ranging in size from 40 to 320 kb. qnrS1 and bla(SHV-12) were not located on the same plasmid. Transfer of quinolone resistance was successfully achieved from all but three isolates. The cloned region surrounding qnrA in two K. pneumoniae isolates revealed a novel genetic organization.


The prevalence of qnr among enterobacterial clinical isolates carrying ESBLs between 2003 and 2004 in Barcelona was 4.9%. qnrA1 was the most prevalent, whereas only one qnrS and no qnrB were detected.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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