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Issue Date: 11-Mar-2003
Publisher: Università degli studi di Trieste
Development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria is mainly due to the presence of resistance genes and to the selective pressure exerted by antibiotic use. Resistance can result from spontaneous mutations or acquisition of genes coding for a resistance mechanism. Antibacterial agents are used in agricultural techniques, in human and animai therapy and prevention of bacteria infections, and are added continuously to animai feeds to promote growth. As a result of exposure to antibiotics, the level of antibiotic resistance of bacteria belonging to the normal intestina! flora of human and animals increases. These bacteria not only constitute an enormous reservoir of resistance genes for potentially pathogenic bacteria, but also their level of resistance is considered to be a good indicator for the selection pressure exerted by antibiotic use in that population and for the resistance problems to be expected in pathogens. Indeed, reservoirs of antibiotic resistance in humans and in animals can interact in different ways: food and water are the most probable vectors of trasmission to the intestina! flora. Population of gulls (Larus cachinnans michahellis) has increased in North-East of Italy during the past decade. This increase has been attribuited to the ability of gulls to adapt to urban areas, in fact they are able to nest on roofs and feed of urban waste. Gulls ability to over fly large areas suggests that their feces may have a potential role in bacterial dissemination and more underhand antibiotic resistance in urban and rural environment. Transfer of antibiotic resistance genes between different species of bacteria c an be facilitated by mobile DNA elements, such as transposons and plasmids. Integrons have been identified on these mobile elements, and they often contain one or more genes that encode antibiotic resistance. Nine classes of integrases have been described, but class l is prevalent in Enterobacteriaceae. In this work l 02 cloacal swabs of Larus cachinnans michahellis were collected in natural reserve during spring in 2000 and 200 l. 214 strains of Enterobacteriaceae were isolated and identified as Proteus sp.(n = 89), E.coli (n = 84), Klebsiella sp.(n. = 18), Sa/monella sp. (n = 17) and Citrobacter sp. (n = 6). Also 162 Gram-positive bacteria strains were identified as Enterococcusfaecalis (n= 101) and Staphylococcus sp. (n= 61). Isolated avian strains were tested for susceptibility to a battery of antibiotics representing various classes of them. Gram-positive isolates showed low levels of resistance, but Enterobacteriaceae were resistant to a lot of antibiotics, especially to ampicillin (Sa/monella sp., E. coli and Proteus sp.), to tetracycline (Sa/monella sp., andE. coli), to streptomycin (Proteus sp., E. coli, Klebsiella sp. and Sa/monella sp.), to nalidixic acid (Proteus sp. andE. coli). The high resistance levels found in Gram-negative strains are very important if we consider the natural habitat of monitorated avifauna, and we could explain this fact as a result of the spread of environmental antibiotic contaminants with their consequent selection pressure and the dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes by horizontal transfer. Gram-negative avian strains were also screened for class l integrase using a specific probes which hybridizes to conserved regions of integron encoded gene intll. 25 of the 214 isolates were positive and showed to have class l integrons. Their sizes were detected by PCR with specific primers 5'CS-3'CS, flanking variable region of integron. Integrons ranged from 500 hp to 4800 bp. The incidence of class l integrons was correlated with multiple-drug resistances exhibited by avian Enterobacteriaceae to streptomycin, trimethoprimsulfamethoxazolo, tetracycline and chloramphenicol. The prevalent size ofintegrons was 1000 hp, 1600 hp and 1700 hp. Also 80 human clinical Enterobacteriaceae strains were screened for the integron presence, 16 strains showed to carry integrons ranged from 1000 pb to 2000 pb.The molecular characterization of integrons from avian and human strains, using different restriction endonucleases like Alul, Cfol, Mspl and Rsal, revealed the same types of integrons: 1000 pb integron, with the same restriction pattem, was found in 2 E. coli from Larus, in l E. coli and 5 Proteus sp. from human. An identica! 1600 pb integron was found in 6 avian strains (3 E. coli, l Klebsiella sp. and 2 Proteus sp.) and 3 Proteus sp. from human; 1700 pb integron was found in 2 E. coli from Larus and 4 E. coli from human. PFGE analysis ofthe strains from animals and humans carring the same types of integrons revelead different pattems. The presence of identica! integrons in different isolates from animals and humans implies horizontal transfer of the complete integron arrangement. 1000, 1600 and 1700 pb integrons were further characterized by sequencing. In integrons of l 000 pb sequence analysis identified a single aadA l gene cassette, integrons of 1600 pb contained dhfrl and aadA genes; integrons of 1700 pb contained d.frl7 and aadA5 genes. aadA, aadA l and aadA5 gene cassettes encoding an Aminoglicoside adenyltransferase and conferring resistance to streptomycin an d spectinomycin, dhfr an d dfr 17 gene cassettes encoding a dihydrofolate reductase and conferring resistance to trimethoprim
Type: Doctoral
Appears in Collections:PREGRESSO

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