Transposon characterization of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VREF) and dissemination of resistance associated with transferable plasmids

Lourdes Garcia Migura, Ernesto Liebana, Lars Bogø Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: VanA glycopeptide resistance has persisted on broiler farms in the UK despite the absence of the antimicrobial selective pressure, avoparcin. This study aimed to investigate the contribution of horizontal gene transfer of Tn 1546 versus clonal spread in the dissemination of the resistance. Methods and results: One hundred and one vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium isolated from 19 unrelated farms have been investigated. Tn 1546 characterization by long PCR and Clal-digestions of amplicons showed a very low diversity of Tn types (n = 4) in comparison to the high genotypic diversity demonstrated by PFGE (n = 62). Conjugation experiments were carried out to assess the transfer of vancomycin resistance. Co-transfer of vanA together with erm(B) positioned on the same conjugative plasmid containing a replicon similar to pRE25 was demonstrated and also the presence of different plasmid replicons, associated with antimicrobial resistance on several unrelated farms. Conclusions: Horizontal transfer of vancomycin resistance may play a more important role in the persistence of antimicrobial resistance than clonal spread. The presence of different plasmid replicons, associated with antimicrobial resistance on several unrelated farms, illustrates the ability of these enterococci to acquire and disseminate mobile genetic elements within integrated livestock systems.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Volume60
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)263-268
ISSN0305-7453
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Keywords

  • Tn 1546
  • horizontal transfer
  • replicon typing

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