Identification of bacterial plasmids based on mobility and plasmid population biology.
ABSTRACT Plasmids contain a backbone of core genes that remains relatively stable for long evolutionary periods, making sense to speak about plasmid species. The identification and characterization of the core genes of a plasmid species has a special relevance in the study of its epidemiology and modes of transmission. Besides, this knowledge will help to unveil the main routes that genes, for example antibiotic resistance (AbR) genes, use to travel from environmental reservoirs to human pathogens. Global dissemination of multiple antibiotic resistances and virulence traits by plasmids is an increasing threat for the treatment of many bacterial infectious diseases. To follow the dissemination of virulence and AbR genes, we need to identify the causative plasmids and follow their path from reservoirs to pathogens. In this review, we discuss how the existing diversity in plasmid genetic structures gives rise to a large diversity in propagation strategies. We would like to propose that, using an identification methodology based on plasmid mobility types, we can follow the propagation routes of most plasmids in Gammaproteobacteria, as well as their cargo genes, in complex ecosystems. Once the dissemination routes are known, designing antidissemination drugs and testing their efficacy will become feasible. We discuss in this review how the existing diversity in plasmid genetic structures gives rise to a large diversity in propagation strategies. We would like to propose that, by using an identification methodology based on plasmid mobility types, we can follow the propagation routes of most plasmids in ?-proteobacteria, as well as their cargo genes, in complex ecosystems.
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ABSTRACT: Complete sequencing of pJIE137 revealed a backbone closely related to p271A, encoding a novel RepA protein but with a similar organization and up to ∼70% nucleotide identity to IncN plasmids. A region in pJIE137 resembling the IncN CUP regulon is mostly missing from p271A, presumably due to recombination. The class 1 In/Tn and ISEcp1-bla(CTX-M-62) transposition unit in pJIE137 and a putative transposon carrying bla(NDM-1) in p271A are inserted in different locations in the plasmid backbone.Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 01/2012; 56(4):2166-8. · 4.57 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Transmissible plasmids are responsible for the spread of genetic determinants, such as antibiotic resistance or virulence traits, causing a large ecological and epidemiological impact. Transmissible plasmids, either conjugative or mobilizable, have in common the presence of a relaxase gene. Relaxases were previously classified in six protein families according to their phylogeny. Degenerate primers hybridizing to coding sequences of conserved amino acid motifs were designed to amplify related relaxase genes from γ-Proteobacterial plasmids. Specificity and sensitivity of a selected set of 19 primer pairs were first tested using a collection of 33 reference relaxases, representing the diversity of γ-Proteobacterial plasmids. The validated set was then applied to the analysis of two plasmid collections obtained from clinical isolates. The relaxase screening method, which we call "Degenerate Primer MOB Typing" or DPMT, detected not only most known Inc/Rep groups, but also a plethora of plasmids not previously assigned to any Inc group or Rep-type.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(7):e40438. · 3.73 Impact Factor