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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1986 May;29(5):807-13.

Evolution and spread of IncFIV plasmids conferring resistance to trimethoprim.


Twenty-one IncFIV-group plasmids conferring trimethoprim resistance in Escherichia coli isolates from humans and pigs were examined. Three evolutionary lines of plasmids were identified on the basis of restriction enzyme analysis. One was found exclusively in human isolates and another was found in pig isolates, while the third line consisted of plasmids from both sources. All R plasmids readily transferred to laboratory strains, and evidence was found for transfer to other biotypes of E. coli in the environment. The Tpr genes from representatives of the plasmid lines were cloned and compared by restriction analysis and by hybridization with two characterized Tpr dihydrofolate reductase genes. The sequences flanking the Tpr genes were different for each line, but all showed homology with the type 2 dihydrofolate reductase gene, irrespective of whether they were of human or animal origin. There was no hybridization to the type 1 gene. The remarkable degree of similarity among plasmids of the third line provided clear evidence of the exchange of plasmid-bearing E. coli between humans and pigs.

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