Transfer of Plasmid pAMβ1 Between Members of the Normal Microflora Inhabiting the Murine Digestive Tract and Modification of the Plasmid in a Lactobacillus reuteri Host
McConnell, M. A.
Mercer, A. A.
Tannock, G. W.
- Publisher: Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease
Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease
(issn: 1651-2235, eissn: 1651-2235)
mesheuropmc: food and beverages | bacteria
The fate of the broad-host-range, conjugative plasmid pAMβ1 in the digestive tract of mice was monitored by DNA-DNA hybridisations using a probe containing the ermAM determinant (macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin type B resistance). Transfer of pAMβ1 from Lactobacillus reuteri to Enterococcus faecium occurred in the digestive tract of infant mice and from E. faecium to E. faecalis and to L. fermentum in the adult intestinal tract. Long-term administration of lincomycin to the animals resulted in a modified form of pAMβ1 in the L. reuteri host. The modified plasmid was present in caecal isolates of the lactobacillus at higher concentration than in the stock culture used to inoculate the mice at the start of the experiment, and was maintained stably by the lactobacilli in vivo. In contrast, pAMβ1 was not stably maintained in the stock strain in the absence of antibiotic administration. The modified plasmid was no longer self-transmissible. Long-term administration of antibiotic to the animals resulted in erythromycin-resistant strains of Escherichia coli and eubacteria.Keywords: Digestive tract; Microflora; Antibiotic; Lactobacillus; Enterococcus; pAMβ1.