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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Produce Safety and Microbiology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #320735

Title: Novel plasmid conferring kanamycin and tetracycline resistance in turkey-derived Campylobacter jejuni strain 11601MD

item CRESPO, MARIA - North Carolina State University
item ALTERMANN, ERIC - Massey University
item OLSON, JONATHON - North Carolina State University
item Miller, William - Bill
item KATHARIOU, SOPHIA - North Carolina State University

Submitted to: Plasmid Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/3/2016
Publication Date: 6/5/2016
Citation: Crespo, M., Altermann, E., Olson, J., Miller, W.G., Kathariou, S. 2016. Novel plasmid conferring kanamycin and tetracycline resistance in turkey-derived Campylobacter jejuni strain 11601MD. Plasmid Journal. doi: 10.1016/j.plasmid.2016.06.001.

Interpretive Summary: Campylobacter spp. are zoonotic foodborne pathogens that frequently colonize poultry and other food animals. Campylobacter jejuni is responsible for the majority of human campylobacteriosis cases, with the remainder caused mainly by Campylobacter coli. C. jejuni and C. coli are well known for their ability to acquire resistance to various antibiotics, with resistance to tetracycline being especially common. Campylobacter resistant to antibiotics can be transmitted from colonized food animals to humans through the food chain. In this study, a drug-resistance cassette, containing genes that confer resistance to kanamycin and tetracycline, was identified on a Campylobacter plasmid. The presence of these genes on a plasmid that can be transmitted from strain to strain, and which is highly similar to other such drug-resistance plasmids has implications for drug resistance in Campylobacter. Of interest is the fact that the drug-resistance cassette seemed to be acquired separately from the plasmid and in some cases contained genes that conferred resistance to additional antibiotics.

Technical Abstract: In Campylobacter spp., resistance to the antibiotics kanamycin and tetracycline is frequently associated with plasmid-borne genes. However, relatively few plasmids of Campylobacter jejuni have been fully characterized to date. A novel plasmid (p11601MD; 44,095 bp.) harboring tet(O) was identified in C. jejuni strain 11601MD, which was isolated from the jejunum of a turkey produced conventionally in North Carolina. Further analysis of the sequence revealed the presence of a high-GC content cassette with four genes that included tet(O) and a putative aminoglycoside transferase gene highly similar to kanamycin resistance genes in other organisms. Several genes putatively involved in conjugative transfer were also identified on the plasmid. These findings will contribute to a better understanding of the distribution of potentially self-mobilizing plasmids harboring antibiotic resistance determinants in Campylobacter spp. from turkeys and other sources.