Journal of chemotherapy (Florence, Italy)

Molecular characterization of integrons in clinical isolates of betalactamase-producing Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae in Iran.

PMID 24571248


Integrons are considered to play a significant role in the evolution and spread of antibiotic resistance genes. A total of 349 clinical isolates of Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae were investigated for molecular characterization of integrons and betalactamases. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was also performed as the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) guidelines. The frequency of extended spectrum betalactamases (ESBL) or metallo-betalactamases (MBL)-producing isolates, patient demographics, and the susceptibility to various antimicrobial agents were described. BlaCTX-M was the most frequently detected betalactamase in all isolates. Moreover, MBL producing K. pneumoniae carried blaIMP and blaVIM at 100 and 41·6%, respectively but no MBL-positive E. coli was detected. Class 1 integrons were more frequent among E. coli and K. pneumoniae isolates in comparison with class 2 integrons and the frequency of intI2 in K. pneumoniae was significantly higher than E. coli isolates. Five different resistance gene arrays were identified among class 1 integrons. Dihydrofolate reductase (dfrA) and aminoglycoside adenyltransferase (aad) gene cassettes were found to be predominant in the class 1 integrons. These results indicate that class 1 integrons are widespread among ESBL-producing isolates of K. pneumoniae and E. coli and appropriate surveillance and control measures are essential to prevent further dissemination of these elements among Enterobacteriaceae in our country.