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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Salmonella Typhimurium ST213 is associated with two types of IncA/C plasmids carrying multiple resistance determinants

Magdalena Wiesner1, Edmundo Calva1, Marcos Fernández-Mora1, Miguel A Cevallos2, Freddy Campos3, Mussaret B Zaidi3 and Claudia Silva1*

Author Affiliations

1 Departamento de Microbiología Molecular, Instituto de Biotecnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Cuernavaca, México

2 Programa de Genómica Evolutiva, Centro de Ciencias Genómicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Apartado Postal 565-A, Cuernavaca, Morelos, México

3 Hospital General O'Horan y Hospital Regional de Alta Especialidad de la Península de Yucatán, Mérida, Yucatán, México

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BMC Microbiology 2011, 11:9  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-11-9

Published: 11 January 2011

Abstract

Background

Salmonella Typhimurium ST213 was first detected in the Mexican Typhimurium population in 2001. It is associated with a multi-drug resistance phenotype and a plasmid-borne blaCMY-2 gene conferring resistance to extended-spectrum cephalosporins. The objective of the current study was to examine the association between the ST213 genotype and blaCMY-2 plasmids.

Results

The blaCMY-2 gene was carried by an IncA/C plasmid. ST213 strains lacking the blaCMY-2 gene carried a different IncA/C plasmid. PCR analysis of seven DNA regions distributed throughout the plasmids showed that these IncA/C plasmids were related, but the presence and absence of DNA stretches produced two divergent types I and II. A class 1 integron (dfrA12, orfF and aadA2) was detected in most of the type I plasmids. Type I contained all the plasmids carrying the blaCMY-2 gene and a subset of plasmids lacking blaCMY-2. Type II included all of the remaining blaCMY-2-negative plasmids. A sequence comparison of the seven DNA regions showed that both types were closely related to IncA/C plasmids found in Escherichia, Salmonella, Yersinia, Photobacterium, Vibrio and Aeromonas. Analysis of our Typhimurium strains showed that the region containing the blaCMY-2 gene is inserted between traA and traC as a single copy, like in the E. coli plasmid pAR060302. The floR allele was identical to that of Newport pSN254, suggesting a mosaic pattern of ancestry with plasmids from other Salmonella serovars and E. coli. Only one of the tested strains was able to conjugate the IncA/C plasmid at very low frequencies (10-7 to 10-9). The lack of conjugation ability of our IncA/C plasmids agrees with the clonal dissemination trend suggested by the chromosomal backgrounds and plasmid pattern associations.

Conclusions

The ecological success of the newly emerging Typhimurium ST213 genotype in Mexico may be related to the carriage of IncA/C plasmids. We conclude that types I and II of IncA/C plasmids originated from a common ancestor and that the insertion and deletion of DNA stretches have shaped their evolutionary histories.