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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2013 Apr;341(1):27-36. doi: 10.1111/1574-6968.12084. Epub 2013 Feb 11.

Tandem multiplication of the IS26-flanked amplicon with the bla(SHV-5) gene within plasmid p1658/97.

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Department of Microbial Biochemistry, Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics of Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland.


The IncF plasmid p1658/97 (c. 125 kb) from Escherichia coli isolates recovered during a clonal outbreak in a hospital in Warsaw, Poland, in 1997 contains the extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) gene bla(SHV-5), originated from the Klebsiella pneumoniae chromosome. A region containing the bla(SHV-5) gene is flanked by two IS26 copies and its copy number multiplies spontaneously within p1658/97 and RecA-deficient E. coli strains. Here, we demonstrate that the amplified IS26-bla(SHV-5) units were arranged in tandems, containing up to more than 10 units, which could raise ceftazidime MICs for host strains from 4 μg mL(-1) to more than 128 μg mL(-1). Successive deletions within p1658/97, located outside the amplifiable module and encompassing even as little as c. 15% of the plasmid, blocked the amplification. Moreover, the complementing re-introduction of the deleted fragments in trans did not restore the process. Similarly, insertions of a 1-kb DNA fragment into the amplicon inhibited its self-multiplication ability. The module was able to transmit into another IS26-containing plasmid by recombination. The results prompted us to speculate that local DNA structure, especially favorable in p1658/97, might have been responsible for the IS26-bla(SHV-5) multiplication ability.

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