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Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Genetic elements associated with antimicrobial resistance in enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) from Brazil

Isabel CA Scaletsky1*, Tamara B Souza2, Katia RS Aranda1 and Iruka N Okeke3

Author Affiliations

1 Departamento de Microbiologia, Immunologia e Parasitologia, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Rua Botucatu, 862, São Paulo, 04023-062, Brazil

2 Departamento de Pediatria, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Rua Botucatu 598, São Paulo, 04023-062, Brazil

3 Department of Biology, Haverford College, 370 Lancaster Avenue, Haverford PA, 19041, USA

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BMC Microbiology 2010, 10:25  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-10-25

Published: 27 January 2010



We recently observed an association of resistance with a certain enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) serotypes and identified a conjugative plasmid, similar to plasmid pED208, that was conserved among archival O111:H2/NM and O119:H2 strains of diverse geographical origin. In this study, we sought to determine the prevalence and distribution of this plasmid among a collection of EPEC isolates from Brazil, as well as to study the susceptibilities of these isolates to antimicrobial agents.


Resistance was more commonly seen in typical EPEC than atypical strains. The most prevalent resistances were to ampicillin, tetracycline, streptomycin and the sulfonamides. Markers for the EPEC conjugative multiresistance plasmid, were detected in 21 (30%) of typical but only 4 (5%) of atypical strains (p = 0.001, Chi-squared test). This plasmid, previously reported from only O111 and O119 strains was found in O55 and O127 strains and was associated with the presence of class 1 integrons.


Our data suggest a limited but expanding host range for the EPEC resistance plasmid.