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Prevalence of dfr genes associated with integrons and spread of dfrA17 among urinary isolates of Escherichia coli in Korea



Prevalence of dfr genes associated with integrons and spread of dfrA17 among urinary isolates of Escherichia coli in Korea



Abstracts of the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents & Chemotherapy 43: 157



Trimethoprim-resistant dfr genes associated with integrons in urinary Echerichia coli isolates in Korea during the last two decades were investigated. The resistance rate of trimethoprim gradually decreased from 75% in the isolates from 1980-1985 to 63% in the isolates from 2001-2002. Class 1 integron carriage was significantly higher in trimethoprim-resistant isolates (69%) than in trimethoprim-susceptible isolates (19%). Of the trimethoprim- resistant isolates, the frequency of dfr genes associated with class 1 integrons were significantly increased from 11% of the isolates during the period of 1980-1985 to 53% of the isolates during the period of 1996-1997 and to 46% of the isolates of 2001-2002. Five dfr cassettes, dfrA1, dfrA5, dfrA7, dfrA12, and dfrA17, were found among urinary E. coli isolates during the last two decades. dfrA12 was the most prevalent in the isolates from 1980-1985, while dfrA17 was the most prevalent among those of 1996-1997 and 2001-2002. The majority (71%) of dfr genes associated with class 1 integron(s) was conjugally transferred to recipient E. coli strain. E. coli isolates that carried dfrA17 associated with class 1 integrons were phylogenetically unrelated by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis profiles, which indicating dfrA17 was widely distributed in different clones of E. coli. In conclusion, class 1 integrons appeared to be an important genetic element for the resistance to trimethoprim among urinary E. coli in Korea and the prevalence of dfrA17 seemed not due to the clonal spread of resistance strain but due to the horizontal transfer of class 1 integrons through conjugative plasmids.

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