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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2012 May;56(5):2619-26. doi: 10.1128/AAC.05997-11. Epub 2012 Feb 6.

Integrating conjugative elements as vectors of antibiotic, mercury, and quaternary ammonium compound resistance in marine aquaculture environments.

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1
Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Institute of Aquaculture, University of Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain.

Abstract

The presence of SXT/R391-related integrating conjugative elements (ICEs) in bacterial strains isolated from fish obtained from marine aquaculture environments in 2001 to 2010 in the northwestern Iberian Peninsula was studied. ICEs were detected in 12 strains taxonomically related to Vibrio scophthalmi (3 strains), Vibrio splendidus (5 strains), Vibrio alginolyticus (1 strain), Shewanella haliotis (1 strain), and Enterovibrio nigricans (2 strains), broadening the known host range able to harbor SXT/R391-like ICEs. Variable DNA regions, which confer element-specific properties to ICEs of this family, were characterized. One of the ICEs encoded antibiotic resistance functions in variable region III, consisting of a tetracycline resistance locus. Interestingly, hot spot 4 included genes providing resistance to rifampin (ICEVspPor2 and ICEValPor1) and quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs) (ICEEniSpa1), and variable region IV included a mercury resistance operon (ICEVspSpa1 and ICEEniSpa1). The S exclusion group was more represented than the R exclusion group, accounting for two-thirds of the total ICEs. Mating experiments allowed ICE mobilization to Escherichia coli strains, showing the corresponding transconjugants' rifampin, mercury, and QAC resistance. These results show the first evidence of ICEs providing rifampin and QAC resistances, suggesting that these mobile genetic elements contribute to the dissemination of antimicrobial, heavy metal, and QAC resistance determinants in aquaculture environments.

PMID:
22314526
PMCID:
PMC3346659
DOI:
10.1128/AAC.05997-11
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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