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Infect Drug Resist. 2019 Feb 11;12:385-389. doi: 10.2147/IDR.S194635. eCollection 2019.

Plasmid-mediated colistin resistance gene mcr-1 in Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae isolated from market retail fruits in Guangzhou, China.

Author information

Department of Microbiology, School of Basic Medical Science, Xinxiang Medical University, Xinxiang, China.
Department of Microbiology, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China,
Key Laboratory of Tropical Diseases Control (Sun Yat-sen University), Ministry of Education, Guangzhou, China,
Department of Respiratory Medicine, The Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai, China.
Department of Laboratory, The Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai, China.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Misr University for Science and Technology (MUST), Cairo, 6th of October City, Egypt.
Department of Clinical Laboratory, The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China.
Department of Clinical Laboratory, Guangzhou Eighth People's Hospital, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, China.



As a result of the growing prevalence of the plasmid-mediated mobile colistin resistance gene mcr-1 among Gram-negative bacteria, the surveillance of mcr-1 has been globally applied. In our study, we aimed to shed light on the possibility of transmission of mcr-1-resistant isolates through market retail fruits.

Methods and results:

Herein, 133 different fruit surface samples were collected and screened for the different MCR variants (mcr-1 to mcr-8) using PCR and confirmed with sequencing. We identify for the first time mcr-1-carrying Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae from market retail fruits in Guangzhou, China. Minimum inhibitory concentrations were detected by the broth microdilution method. Liquid mating was performed to check the transferability of the mcr-1 gene. Pulsed field gel electrophoresis analysis of S1 nuclease-digested DNA and Southern blotting were performed to check the location of the mcr-1 gene. Then, whole-genome sequencing and in silico multilocus sequence typing analysis were performed.


We showed that E. coli GB110 can mediate the spreading of antibiotic resistance genes through the food chain, while K. pneumoniae GB015 was considered to be the progenitor of the most successful multidrug-resistant clone. Since fruits are usually consumed fresh, this may serve as a direct source of mcr-1-producing bacteria in humans that requires prompt surveillance and intervention to limit the spread of resistance.


Escherichia coli; Klebsiella pneumoniae; colistin; fruit; mcr-1

Conflict of interest statement

Disclosure The authors report no conflicts of interest in this work.

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