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Persistent spread of the rmtB 16S rRNA methyltransferase gene among Escherichia coli isolates from diseased food-producing animals in China

Xia, Jing, Sun, Jian, Cheng, Ke, Li, Liang, Fang, Liang-Xing, Zou, Meng-Ting, Liao, Xiao-Ping, Liu, Ya-Hong
Veterinary microbiology 2016 v.188 pp. 41-46
Escherichia coli, antibiotic resistance, beta-lactamase, food animals, genes, methyltransferases, multiple drug resistance, plasmids, polymerase chain reaction, quinolones, replicon, ribosomal RNA, China
A total of 963 non-duplicate Escherichia coli strains isolated from food-producing animals between 2002 and 2012 were screened for the presence of the 16S rRNA methyltransferase genes. Among the positive isolates, resistance determinants to extended spectrum β-lactamases, plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance genes as well as floR and fosA/A3/C2 were detected using PCR analysis. These isolates were further subjected to antimicrobial susceptibility testing, molecular typing, PCR-based plasmid replicon typing and plasmid analysis. Of the 963 E. coli isolates, 173 (18.0%), 3 (0.3%) and 2 (0.2%) were rmtB-, armA- and rmtE-positive strains, respectively. All the 16S rRNA methyltransferase gene-positive isolates were multidrug resistant and over 90% of them carried one or more type of resistance gene. IncF (especially IncFII) and non-typeable plasmids played the main role in the dissemination of rmtB, followed by the IncN plasmids. Plasmids that harbored rmtB ranged in size from 20kb to 340kb EcoRI-RFLP testing of the 109 rmtB-positive plasmids from different years and different origins suggested that horizontal (among diverse animals) and vertical transfer of IncF, non-typeable and IncN-type plasmids were responsible for the spread of rmtB gene. In summary, our findings highlight that rmtB was the most prevalent 16S rRNA methyltransferase gene, which present persistent spread in food-producing animals in China and a diverse group of plasmids was responsible for rmtB dissemination.