Dec 30, 1999

Class 1 integrons, gene cassettes, mobility, and epidemiology

European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases : Official Publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology
A C Fluit, F J Schmitz

Abstract

Integrons are genetic elements that, although unable to move themselves, contain gene cassettes that can be mobilized to other integrons or to secondary sites in the bacterial genome. The majority of approximately 60 known gene cassettes encode resistance to antibiotics. Recently, a number of gene cassettes encoding extended-spectrum beta-lactamases or carbapenemases have been described. Up to at least five cassettes may be present in an integron, which leads to multiresistance. Frequently, more than one integron is observed within the same bacterial cell. Integrons are widespread in their species distribution. Although integrons are normally reported from Enterobacteriaceae and other gram-negative bacteria, an integron has been described in Corynebacterium glutamicum, a gram-positive species. The gene cassette in this integron showed even higher expression when compared to the expression in Escherichia coli. Integrons have been reported from all continents and are found frequently. The widespread occurrence of integrons is thought to be due to their association with transposon plasmids, conjugative plasmids, or both. Integrons form an important source for the spread of antibiotic resistance, at least in gram-negative bacteria ...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Gram-Positive Bacteria
Antibiotic Resistance, Microbial
Enterobacteriaceae
Bacterial cell
Bacteriocidal Agents
Antibiotic throat preparations
Antifungal Antibiotics, Topical
Recombination, Genetic
Corynebacterium glutamicum
Antibiotics, Gynecological

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