High Prevalence of Plasmid-Mediated Quinolone Resistance and IncQ Plasmids Carrying qnrS2 Gene in Bacteria from Rivers near Hospitals and Aquaculture in China

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Wen, Yanping ; Pu, Xiaoying ; Zheng, Wei ; Hu, Guang (2016)
  • Publisher: Public Library of Science
  • Journal: PLoS ONE, volume 11, issue 7 (issn: 1932-6203, eissn: 1932-6203)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0159418, pmc: PMC4948828
  • Subject: Microbial Control | Bodies of Water | Research Article | Earth Sciences | Freshwater Environments | Bacteria | Ecology and Environmental Sciences | Antimicrobials | Agriculture | Forms of DNA | Marine and Aquatic Sciences | Genetics | Aeromonas | Antimicrobial Resistance | Antibiotic Resistance | DNA | Pharmacology | Genomics | Aquatic Environments | Genetic Elements | Rivers | Biology and Life Sciences | Hydrology | Drugs | Microbiology | Mobile Genetic Elements | Medicine | Plasmids | Nucleic acids | Surface Water | Q | Aquaculture | R | Science | Biochemistry | Organisms | Enterobacteriaceae | Medicine and Health Sciences | Antibiotics

Effluents from hospital and aquaculture are considered important sources of quinolone resistance. However, little information is available on the impact of this effluent on nearby rivers. In this study, 188 ciprofloxacin-resistant bacterial isolates obtained from rivers near hospitals and aquaculture were screened for plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance (PMQR) genes. Species identification, antibiotic susceptibility testing, and PMQR gene transferability assessment were conducted for PMQR-positive bacteria. Representative qnrS2-encoding plasmids were subsequently sequenced using a primer-walking approach. In total, 44 isolates (23.4%) were positive for qnr genes (16 qnrB2, 3 qnrS1, and 25 qnrS2) and 32 isolates (17.0%) were positive for aac(6')-Ib-cr. Other PMQR genes were not detected. The qnrB2 and aac(6')-Ib-cr genes had a higher prevalence in aquaculture samples than in hospital samples, and were significantly associated with Enterobacteriaceae (p < 0.05). In contrast, the prevalence of qnrS2 was not site-related, but was significantly associated with Aeromonas spp. (p < 0.05). All PMQR isolates were resistant to three or more classes of antibiotics. Eleven qnrS2-harboring plasmids from Aeromonas spp., including a novel conjugative plasmid pHP18, were selected for sequencing. These plasmids were small in size (6,388-16,197 bp) and belonged to the IncQ or IncU plasmid family, with qnrS2 being part of a mobile insertion cassette. Taken together, our findings suggest that aquaculture is a possible source for aac(6')-Ib-cr and qnrB2 dissemination, and demonstrate the ubiquity of qnrS2 in aquatic environments. Finally, Aeromonas spp. served as vectors for qnrS2 with the help of IncQ-type plasmids.
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