Structural Diversity of Class 1 Integrons and Their Associated Gene Cassettes in Klebsiella pneumoniae Isolates from a Hospital in China

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Abstract

Background:Klebsiella pneumoniae strains carrying class 1 integrons are becoming more common worldwide, and their role in the dissemination of drug resistance is significant. The aim of this study was to characterize the structural diversity of class 1 integrons and their associated gene cassettes in K. pneumoniae isolates from hospital settings.Methodology/Principal Findings:We analyzed a total of 176 K. pneumoniae isolates in a tertiary-care hospital in Beijing, China for the period of November 1, 2010-October 31, 2011. The presence of class 1 integrons and gene cassettes was analyzed by PCR and sequencing. The prevalence of class 1 integrons was 51.1% (90/176). Fourteen different gene cassettes and 10 different gene cassette arrays were detected. dfrA and aadA cassettes were predominant and cassette combination dfrA1-orfC was most frequently found (13.6%, 24/176). Strong association between resistance to a variety of drugs (both phenotypes and the associated genes) and the presence of class 1 integrons was observed. In addition, we also identified an association between some previously identified prevalent sequence types (such as ST11, ST15, ST147, ST562, and ST716) and the presence of class 1 integrons.Conclusions/Significance:Data from this study demonstrated that class 1 integrons are highly diverse and are associated with a variety of drug resistance phenotypes, drug resistance genes, as well as genotypes among K. pneumoniae isolates. Continuous monitoring of gene cassettes in class 1 integrons is warranted to improve the understanding and control of drug resistance among hospital settings. © 2013 Li et al.

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Li, B., Hu, Y., Wang, Q., Yi, Y., Woo, P. C. Y., Jing, H., … Liu, C. H. (2013). Structural Diversity of Class 1 Integrons and Their Associated Gene Cassettes in Klebsiella pneumoniae Isolates from a Hospital in China. PLoS ONE, 8(9). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0075805

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