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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Print version ISSN 0074-0276On-line version ISSN 1678-8060


BARROS, Julio César de Siqueira et al. Evidences of gentamicin resistance amplification in Klebsiella pneumoniae isolated from faeces of hospitalized newborns. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz [online]. 1999, vol.94, n.6, pp.795-802. ISSN 0074-0276.

The intestinal microbiota, a barrier to the establishment of pathogenic bacteria, is also an important reservoir of opportunistic pathogens. It plays a key role in the process of resistance-genes dissemination, commonly carried by specialized genetic elements, like plasmids, phages, and conjugative transposons. We obtained from strains of enterobacteria, isolated from faeces of newborns in a university hospital nursery, indication of phenothypical gentamicin resistance amplification (frequencies of 10-3 to 10-5, compatible with transposition frequencies). Southern blotting assays showed strong hybridization signals for both plasmidial and chromossomal regions in DNA extracted from variants selected at high gentamicin concentrations, using as a probe a labeled cloned insert containing aminoglycoside modifying enzyme (AME) gene sequence originated from a plasmid of a Klebsiella pneumoniae strain previously isolated in the same hospital. Further, we found indications of inactivation to other resistance genes in variants selected under similar conditions, as well as, indications of co-amplification of other AME markers (amikacin). Since the intestinal environment is a scenario of selective processes due to the therapeutic and prophylactic use of antimicrobial agents, the processes of amplification of low level antimicrobial resistance (not usually detected or sought by common methods used for antibiotic resistance surveillance) might compromise the effectiveness of antibiotic chemotherapy.

Keywords : resistance amplification; aminoglycosides modifying enzymes; Klebsiella pneumoniae.

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