An Enterobacter plasmid as a new genetic background for the transposon Tn1331
Mohammad R Alavi1,2, Vlado Antonic2, Adrien Ravizee1, Peter J Weina3, Mina Izadjoo1,2, Alexander Stojadinovic2
1Division of Wound Biology and Translational Research, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and American Registry of Pathology, Washington DC, 2Combat Wound Initiative Program, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington DC, 3The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, MD, USA
Background: Genus Enterobacter includes important opportunistic nosocomial pathogens that could infect complex wounds. The presence of antibiotic resistance genes in these microorganisms represents a challenging clinical problem in the treatment of these wounds. In the authors’ screening of antibiotic-resistant bacteria from complex wounds, an Enterobacter species was isolated that harbors antibiotic-resistant plasmids conferring resistance to Escherichia coli. The aim of this study was to identify the resistance genes carried by one of these plasmids.
Methods: The plasmids from the Enterobacter isolate were propagated in E. coli and one of the plasmids, designated as pR23, was sequenced by the Sanger method using fluorescent dye-terminator chemistry on a genetic analyzer. The assembled sequence was annotated by search of the GenBank database.
Results: Plasmid pR23 is composed of the transposon Tn1331 and a backbone plasmid that is identical to the plasmid pPIGDM1 from Enterobacter agglomerans. The multidrug-resistance transposon Tn1331, which confers resistance to aminoglycoside and beta lactam antibiotics, has been previously isolated only from Klebsiella. The Enterobacter plasmid pPIGDM1, which carries a ColE1-like origin of replication and has no apparent selective marker, appears to provide a backbone for propagation of Tn1331 in Enterobacter. The recognition sequence of Tn1331 transposase for insertion into pPIGDM1 is the pentanucleotide TATTA, which occurs only once throughout the length of this plasmid.
Conclusion: Transposition of Tn1331 into the Enterobacter plasmid pPIGDM1 enables this transposon to propagate in this Enterobacter. Since Tn1331 was previously isolated only from Klebsiella, this report suggests horizontal transfer of this transposon between the two bacterial genera.
Keywords: transposon Tn1331, Enterobacter, wound infection
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