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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Multiple Genetic Elements Carry the Tetracycline Resistance Gene tet(W) in the Animal Pathogen Arcanobacterium pyogenes.

The tet(W) gene is associated with tetracycline resistance in a wide range of bacterial species, including obligately anaerobic rumen bacteria and isolates from the human gut and oral mucosa. However, little is known about how this gene is disseminated and the types of genetic elements it is carried on. We examined tetracycline-resistant isolates of the animal commensal and opportunistic pathogen Arcanobacterium pyogenes, all of which carried tet(W), and identified three genetic elements designated ATE-1, ATE-2, and ATE-3. These elements were found in 25%, 35%, and 60% of tetracycline-resistant isolates, respectively, with some strains carrying both ATE-2 and ATE-3. ATE-1 shows characteristics of a mobilizable transposon, and the tet(W) genes from strains carrying this element can be transferred at low frequencies between A. pyogenes strains. ATE-2 has characteristics of a simple transposon, carrying only the resistance gene and a transposase, while in ATE-3, the tet(W) gene is associated with a streptomycin resistance gene that is 100% identical at the DNA level with the aadE gene from the Campylobacter jejuni plasmid pCG8245. Both ATE-2 and ATE-3 show evidence of being carried on larger genetic elements, but conjugation to other strains was not observed under the conditions tested. ATE-1 was preferentially associated with A. pyogenes strains of bovine origin, while ATE-2 and ATE-3 elements were primarily found in porcine isolates, suggesting that these elements may circulate in different environments. In addition, four alleles of the tet(W) gene, primarily associated with different elements, were detected among A. pyogenes isolates.[1]


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