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Can J Microbiol. 1991 Jan;37(1):59-63.

Unusual association of a plasmid with nalidixic acid resistance in an epidemic strain of Shigella dysenteriae type 1 from Asia.

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Bacterial Genetics Laboratory, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, Dhaka.


The association of a 20-MDa plasmid with nalidixic acid resistant (Nalr) strains of Shigella dysenteriae 1 has been examined. The plasmid, which is readily transferable, does not itself code for nalidixic acid resistance but offers a survival advantage to its host under nalidixic acid stress. The plasmid-containing cultures of S. dynsenteriae 1 produced Nalr mutants in vitro at a frequency 1000-fold higher than their plasmidless parent strains, after two exposures to nalidixic acid. Using a similar procedure, mutants resistant to other antibiotics such as chloramphenicol, tetracycline, or ciprofloxacin could not be isolated. The genome of S. dysenteriae 1 appears to carry a heavy load of the insertion sequence IS1. The propensity of the plasmid-containing strains to readily mutate to nalidixic acid resistance and its possible relevance to the observed association of the plasmid with Nalr clinical isolates is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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