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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2010 Jul;16(7):1019-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2009.03010.x. Epub 2009 Jul 24.

Prevalence of plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance determinants in Enterobacteriaceae from Tunisia.

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Service De Bactériologie-Virologie, INSERM U914 Emerging Resistance to Antibiotics, Hôpital de Bicêtre, Assistance Publique/Hôpitaux de Paris, Faculté de Médecine et Université Paris-Sud, France.


The spread of plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance determinants (qnr-like determinants, aac(6')-Ib-cr and qepA genes) was evaluated in a collection of 281 nalidixic acid-resistant enterobacterial isolates recovered between September 2005 and December 2007 at the Sahloul Hospital, Sousse, Tunisia. Sixteen percent of those isolates carried qnr genes encoding the QnrB1, QnrB2, QnrA6 or QnrS1 determinants. Most qnr-positive isolates were extended-spectrum ß-lactamase (ESBL) producers, being predominantly of the CTX-M-15 type, but also of the SHV-28 and SHV-12 types. The qnr genes were located on plasmids with a size in the range 55-150 kb. The qnrB2 gene was associated with sul1-type integron structures and the qnrB1 gene was associated with orf1005, whereas the genetic environment of qnrA6 was unknown. In two isolates, the qnrS1 gene was located downstream of an ISEcl2 element on plasmids that often carried the narrow-spectrum ß-lactamase gene bla(LAP-2); qepA and aac(6')-Ib-cr were not detected. The present study highlights the wide spread of Qnr-like determinants in Tunisia, with an association with the ESBL CTX-M-15 in human clinical isolates.

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