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

Novel antibiotic resistance transfer in Bacteroides.

Resistance to tetracycline and lincosamide antibiotics was transferred en bloc from a strain of Bacteroides fragilis (V503) to a plasmidless strain of Bacteroides uniformis (V528) during in vitro filter matings. Resistance transfer was detected at frequencies of 10(-5) to 10(-6) drug-resistant progeny per input donor cell and was dependent on cell-to-cell contact of donors and recipients. Transfer was insensitive to DNase and was not mediated by chloroform- or filter-sterilized donor broth cultures. A determinant for resistance to cefoxitin in V503 was not transferred in this system. V503 contained a 3.7 x 10(6)-dalton plasmid (pVA503). Drug-resistant progeny of V503 x V528 matings usually contained pVA503, but up to 20% of the total progeny of such crosses were plasmid free. Filter blot DNA hybridization studies (Southern method) confirmed that pVA503 was not integrated into the host chromosome of the plasmidless progeny. Drug-resistant progeny from V503 x V528 matings (with or without pVA503) conjugally transferred clindamycin resistance an tetracycline resistance to a suitable recipient strain. None of the drug resistance determinants of V503 were affected by treatment with standard plasmid curing regimens, and methods designed to detect very large plasmid molecules failed to suggest the involvement of extrachromosomal DNA in this resistance transfer system. The well-characterized Bacteroides R plasmid, pBF4 (conferring clindamycin resistance), was found to share hybridizing sequences with bulk cellular V503 DNA when examined by filter blot hybridization. Similarly sized sequences were found in drug-resistant progeny recovered from matings. Neither of the two pBF4 derivatives carrying deletions that abolished clindamycin resistance hybridized with V503 DNA.[1]


  1. Novel antibiotic resistance transfer in Bacteroides. Mays, T.D., Smith, C.J., Welch, R.A., Delfini, C., Macrina, F.L. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. (1982) [Pubmed]
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