f Gentamicin resistance in clinical isolates of Escherichia coli encoded by genes of veterinary origin
- Authors: A. P. Johnson, Louise Burns, N. Woodford, E. J. Threlfall, Jay Naidoo†, E. M. Cooke‡, R. C. George
- J. Med. Microbiol., March 1994 40: 221-226, doi: 10.1099/00222615-40-3-221
- Subject: Articles
- Published Online:
Seven (27%) of 26 gentamicin-resistant human clinical isolates of Escherichia coli were resistant to the veterinary aminoglycoside antibiotic apramycin. A gentamicin-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae isolate from a patient infected with gentamicin/apramycin-resistant E. coli was also resistant to apramycin. DNA hybridisation studies showed that all gentamicin/apramycin-resistant isolates contained a gene encoding the enzyme 3-N-aminoglycoside acetyltransferase type IV (AACIV) that mediates resistance to gentamicin and apramycin in bacteria isolated from animals. Seven of the eight gentamicin/apramycin-resistant isolates were also resistant to the veterinary antihelminthic agent hygromycin B, a phenomenon observed previously in gentamicin/apramycin-resistant Enterobacteriaceae isolated from animals. Resistance to gentamicin/apramycin and hygromycin B was cotransferable in six of the isolates. Restriction enzyme analysis of plasmids in apramycin-resistant transconjugants derived from E. coli and K. pneumoniae isolates from the same patient were virtually identical, suggesting that inter-generic transfer of plasmids encoding apramycin resistance had occurred in vivo. These findings support the view that resistance to gentamicin and apramycin in clinical isolates of E. coli results from the spread of resistant organisms from animals to man, with subsequent inter-strain or inter-species spread, or both, of resistance genes on transferable plasmids.
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