Different pathways to acquiring resistance genes illustrated by the recent evolution of IncW plasmids.

Departamento de Biología Molecular e Instituto de Biomedicina y Biotecnología de Cantabria, Universidad de Cantabria-CSIC-IDICAN, C. Herrera Oria s/n, 39011 Santander, Spain.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (Impact Factor: 4.45). 05/2008; 52(4):1472-80. DOI: 10.1128/AAC.00982-07
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT DNA sequence analysis of five IncW plasmids (R388, pSa, R7K, pIE321, and pIE522) demonstrated that they share a considerable portion of their genomes and allowed us to define the IncW backbone. Among these plasmids, the backbone is stable and seems to have diverged recently, since the overall identity among its members is higher than 95%. The only gene in which significant variation was observed was trwA; the changes in the coding sequence correlated with parallel changes in the corresponding TrwA binding sites at oriT, suggesting a functional connection between both sets of changes. The present IncW plasmid diversity is shaped by the acquisition of antibiotic resistance genes as a consequence of the pressure exerted by antibiotic usage. Sequence comparisons pinpointed the insertion events that differentiated the five plasmids analyzed. Of greatest interest is that a single acquisition of a class I integron platform, into which different gene cassettes were later incorporated, gave rise to plasmids R388, pIE522, and pSa, while plasmids R7K and pIE321 do not contain the integron platform and arose in the antibiotic world because of the insertion of several antibiotic resistance transposons.

Download full-text


Available from: Christopher M Thomas, Dec 13, 2013
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The insertion sequence IS26 plays a key role in disseminating antibiotic resistance genes in Gram-negative bacteria, forming regions containing more than one antibiotic resistance gene that are flanked by and interspersed with copies of IS26. A model presented for a second mode of IS26 movement that explains the structure of these regions involves a translocatable unit consisting of a unique DNA segment carrying an antibiotic resistance (or other) gene and a single IS copy. Structures resembling class I transposons are generated via RecA-independent incorporation of a translocatable unit next to a second IS26 such that the ISs are in direct orientation. Repeating this process would lead to arrays of resistance genes with directly oriented copies of IS26 at each end and between each unique segment. This model requires that IS26 recognizes another IS26 as a target, and in transposition experiments, the frequency of cointegrate formation was 60-fold higher when the target plasmid contained IS26. This reaction was conservative, with no additional IS26 or target site duplication generated, and orientation specific as the IS26s in the cointegrates were always in the same orientation. Consequently, the cointegrates were identical to those formed via the known mode of IS26 movement when a target IS26 was not present. Intact transposase genes in both IS26s were required for high-frequency cointegrate formation as inactivation of either one reduced the frequency 30-fold. However, the IS26 target specificity was retained. Conversion of each residue in the DDE motif of the Tnp26 transposase also reduced the cointegration frequency.
    mBio 08/2014; 5(5). DOI:10.1128/mBio.01801-14 · 6.88 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Antimicrobial resistant zoonotic pathogens present on food constitute a direct risk to public health. Antimicrobial resistance genes in commensal or pathogenic strains form an indirect risk to public health, as they increase the gene pool from which pathogenic bacteria can pick up resistance traits. Food can be contaminated with antimicrobial resistant bacteria and/or antimicrobial resistance genes in several ways. A first way is the presence of antibiotic resistant bacteria on food selected by the use of antibiotics during agricultural production. A second route is the possible presence of resistance genes in bacteria that are intentionally added during the processing of food (starter cultures, probiotics, bioconserving microorganisms and bacteriophages). A last way is through cross-contamination with antimicrobial resistant bacteria during food processing. Raw food products can be consumed without having undergone prior processing or preservation and therefore hold a substantial risk for transfer of antimicrobial resistance to humans, as the eventually present resistant bacteria are not killed. As a consequence, transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes between bacteria after ingestion by humans may occur. Under minimal processing or preservation treatment conditions, sublethally damaged or stressed cells can be maintained in the food, inducing antimicrobial resistance build-up and enhancing the risk of resistance transfer. Food processes that kill bacteria in food products, decrease the risk of transmission of antimicrobial resistance.
    International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 07/2013; 10(7):2643-2669. DOI:10.3390/ijerph10072643 · 1.99 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Conjugation is one mechanism for intra- and inter-species horizontal gene transfer among bacteria. Conjugative elements have been instrumental in many bacterial species to face the threat of antibiotics, by allowing them to evolve and adapt to these hostile conditions. Conjugative plasmids are transferred to plasmidless recipient cells as single-stranded DNA. We used lacZ and gfp fusions to address whether conjugation induces the SOS response and the integron integrase. The SOS response controls a series of genes responsible for DNA damage repair, which can lead to recombination and mutagenesis. In this manuscript, we show that conjugative transfer of ssDNA induces the bacterial SOS stress response, unless an anti-SOS factor is present to alleviate this response. We also show that integron integrases are up-regulated during this process, resulting in increased cassette rearrangements. Moreover, the data we obtained using broad and narrow host range plasmids strongly suggests that plasmid transfer, even abortive, can trigger chromosomal gene rearrangements and transcriptional switches in the recipient cell. Our results highlight the importance of environments concentrating disparate bacterial communities as reactors for extensive genetic adaptation of bacteria.
    PLoS Genetics 10/2010; 6(10):e1001165. DOI:10.1371/journal.pgen.1001165 · 8.17 Impact Factor