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Infect Genet Evol. 2018 Jun;60:66-70. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2018.02.003. Epub 2018 Feb 7.

Identification and characterization of plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance determinants in Enterobacteriaceae isolated from healthy poultry in Brazil.

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School of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo University (USP), Ribeirão Preto, SP 14040-903, Brazil.
School of Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences, São Paulo State University (UNESP), Jaboticabal, SP 14884-900, Brazil.
School of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo University (USP), Ribeirão Preto, SP 14040-903, Brazil. Electronic address:


The expression of plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance (PMQR) genes confers low-level quinolone and fluoroquinolones resistance alone. However, the association to chromosomal resistance mechanisms determines an expressively higher resistance in Enterobacteriaceae. These mechanisms are horizontally disseminated within plasmids and have contributed to the emergence of bacteria with reduced susceptibility or resistant to therapies worldwide. The epidemiological characterization of PMQR dissemination is highly relevant in the scientific and medical context, to investigate the dissemination within enterobacteria, from different populations, including humans and food-producing animals. In the present study, 200 Enterobacteriaceae isolates were harvested from poultry with cloacal swabs and identified as Escherichia coli (90.5%), Escherichia fergusonii (5.5%), Klebsiella oxytoca (2.5%) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (1.5%). Among isolates evaluated, 46 (23%) harboured PMQR genes including qnrB (43/200), qnrS (2/200) and aac(6')-Ib-cr (1/200). All isolates carrying PMQR genes showed multidrug-resistance phenotype. The 36 E. coli isolates showed 18 different PFGE types. All E. fergusonii isolates showed the same PFGE type. The two Klebsiella oxytoca belonged to two different PFGE types. The phylogenetic groups A, B1, and D were found among the E. coli harboring PMQR genes. Based on the phylogenetic analysis and PFGE, the population structure of E. coli isolates was diverse, even within the same farm. All isolates carrying qnrB and qnrS genes also harboured ColE-like plasmids. The Southern blot hybridization using the S1-PFGE revealed that the qnrB genes were located on low molecular weight plasmids, smaller than 10Kb. Resistance plasmids were sequenced and showed 100% identity with plasmid pPAB19-3. The association of PMQR genes with mobile genetic elements, such as transferable plasmids, favours the selection and dissemination of (fluoro) quinolones resistant bacteria among food-producing animals, and may play an important role in the current increased prevalence of resistant bacteria in different environments reported worldwide.


Chicken; ColE-like plasmid; Food-producing animal; PMQR; qnr

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