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Microb Drug Resist. 1998 Winter;4(4):271-6.

Analysis of the mutations involved in fluoroquinolone resistance of in vivo and in vitro mutants of Escherichia coli.

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Service de Bactériologie-Virologie-Hygiène, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Henri Mondor, Créteil, France.


We searched for the mutations involved in high-level fluoroquinolone resistance (ciprofloxacin MIC > or = 8 microg/ml) of 11 clinical isolates of Escherichia coli. trans-Complementation tests with the wild-type gyrA and parC genes were positive for all strains whereas negative results were observed with the wild-type gyrB and parE genes. By PCR and sequencing, two mutations in gyrA, leading to Ser-83 --> Leu and Asp-87 --> Asn (7) or Gly (2) or Tyr (1) changes, were found in 10 strains, the eleventh presenting only the Ser-83 --> Leu change. In addition, all strains carried one change in ParC: Ser-80 --> Ile (8) or Arg (2); Glu-84 --> Lys (1). We described a novel and simple method permitting detection of the mutations in parC at codon 80, PCR-RFLP with HaeII. In vitro mutants, selected with ciprofloxacin in three successive steps were also studied. The first-step mutants were complemented by pJSW101 (gyrA+) but not by pEN260 (parC+), whereas the second-step and third-step mutants were complemented by both plasmids. Mutations occurred in the following order: (i) gyrA at codon 83 (Ser to Leu change), (ii) parC at codon 80 (Ser to Ile change), and (iii) gyrA at codon 87 (Asp to Asn change). Thus, these sequential mutations appear to be frequently involved in high-level fluoroquinolone resistance of E. coli.

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