Article

Differential epigenetic compatibility of qnr antibiotic resistance determinants with the chromosome of Escherichia coli.

Departamento de Biotecnología Microbiana, Centro Nacional de Biotecnología, CSIC, Cantoblanco, Madrid, Spain.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.53). 01/2012; 7(5):e35149. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0035149
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Environmental bacteria harbor a plethora of genes that, upon their horizontal transfer to new hosts, may confer resistance to antibiotics, although the number of such determinants actually acquired by pathogenic bacteria is very low. The founder effect, fitness costs and ecological connectivity all influence the chances of resistance transfer being successful. We examined the importance of these bottlenecks using the family of quinolone resistance determinants Qnr. The results indicate the epigenetic compatibility of a determinant with the host genome to be of great importance in the acquisition and spread of resistance. A plasmid carrying the widely distributed QnrA determinant was stable in Escherichia coli, whereas the SmQnr determinant was unstable despite both proteins having very similar tertiary structures. This indicates that the fitness costs associated with the acquisition of antibiotic resistance may not derive from a non-specific metabolic burden, but from the acquired gene causing specific changes in bacterial metabolic and regulatory networks. The observed stabilization of the plasmid encoding SmQnr by chromosomal mutations, including a mutant lacking the global regulator H-NS, reinforces this idea. Since quinolones are synthetic antibiotics, and since the origin of QnrA is the environmental bacterium Shewanella algae, the role of QnrA in this organism is unlikely to be that of conferring resistance. Its evolution toward this may have occurred through mutations or because of an environmental change (exaptation). The present results indicate that the chromosomally encoded Qnr determinants of S. algae can confer quinolone resistance upon their transfer to E. coli without the need of any further mutation. These results suggest that exaptation is important in the evolution of antibiotic resistance.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
62 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Antibiotics have natural functions, mostly involving cell-to-cell signaling networks. The anthropogenic production of antibiotics, and its release in the microbiosphere results in a disturbance of these networks, antibiotic resistance tending to preserve its integrity. The cost of such adaptation is the emergence and dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes, and of all genetic and cellular vehicles in which these genes are located. Selection of the combinations of the different evolutionary units (genes, integrons, transposons, plasmids, cells, communities and microbiomes, hosts) is highly asymmetrical. Each unit of selection is a self-interested entity, exploiting the higher hierarchical unit for its own benefit, but in doing so the higher hierarchical unit might acquire critical traits for its spread because of the exploitation of the lower hierarchical unit. This interactive trade-off shapes the population biology of antibiotic resistance, a composed-complex array of the independent "population biologies." Antibiotics modify the abundance and the interactive field of each of these units. Antibiotics increase the number and evolvability of "clinical" antibiotic resistance genes, but probably also many other genes with different primary functions but with a resistance phenotype present in the environmental resistome. Antibiotics influence the abundance, modularity, and spread of integrons, transposons, and plasmids, mostly acting on structures present before the antibiotic era. Antibiotics enrich particular bacterial lineages and clones and contribute to local clonalization processes. Antibiotics amplify particular genetic exchange communities sharing antibiotic resistance genes and platforms within microbiomes. In particular human or animal hosts, the microbiomic composition might facilitate the interactions between evolutionary units involved in antibiotic resistance. The understanding of antibiotic resistance implies expanding our knowledge on multi-level population biology of bacteria.
    Frontiers in Microbiology 01/2013; 4:15. · 3.90 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract The emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance among human pathogens is a relevant problem for human health and one of the few evolution processes amenable to experimental studies. In the present review, we discuss some basic aspects of antibiotic resistance, including mechanisms of resistance, origin of resistance genes, and bottlenecks that modulate the acquisition and spread of antibiotic resistance among human pathogens. In addition, we analyse several parameters that modulate the evolution landscape of antibiotic resistance. Learning why some resistance mechanisms emerge but do not evolve after a first burst, whereas others can spread over the entire world very rapidly, mimicking a chain reaction, is important for predicting the evolution, and relevance for human health, of a given mechanism of resistance. Because of this, we propose that the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance can only be understood in a multi-parameter space. Measuring the effect on antibiotic resistance of parameters such as contact rates, transfer rates, integration rates, replication rates, diversification rates, and selection rates, for different genes and organisms, growing under different conditions in distinct ecosystems, will allow for a better prediction of antibiotic resistance and possibilities of focused interventions.
    Upsala journal of medical sciences 03/2014; · 0.73 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Fluoroquinolones, rapidly gaining prominence in treatment of Stenotrophomonas maltophilia (SMP), are noted for their potency and tolerability. However, SMP may rapidly acquire resistance to fluoroquinolones. We evaluated associations of clinical factors with acquisition of levofloxacin resistance (LFr) in SMP.
    Yonsei medical journal. 07/2014; 55(4):987-93.

Full-text (3 Sources)

View
21 Downloads
Available from
May 22, 2014