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Braz J Microbiol. 2011 Oct-Dec; 42(4): 1308–1313.
Published online 2011 December 1. doi:  10.1590/S1517-838220110004000010
PMCID: PMC3768730

Detection of integrons among multi-drug resistant (MDR) Escherichia coli strains isolated from clinical specimens in northern west of Iran


Transference of resistance determinants by integrons is one of the important factors that can contribute to the increase in multi-resistant bacteria. We determined the prevalence and class of integrons among multi-drug resistant (MDR) Escherichia coli strains isolated from clinical specimens in Tabriz teaching hospitals. Firstly, susceptibility of 140 isolates to 13 antibiotics was determined using the disc diffusion method. Then, prevalence and class of integrons was detected in MDR strains by PCR-RFLP. One hundred five (75%) of total 140 isolates were uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC). Other pathotypes included were: diarrheagenic Escherichia coli (13; 9.3%), sepsis-associated E. coli (5; 3.6%) and newborn meningitis-associated E. coli (2; 1.4%). Antibiotic resistance patterns were as follows: amoxicillin 99.3%, gentamicin 33.6%, tetracycline 72.8%, ceftazidime 46.4%, co-trimoxazole 75%, imipenem 1.4%, ciprofloxacin 47.6%, norfloxacin 50.7%, cephalothin 77.8%, amikacin 12.1%, nitrofurantoin 12.9%, chloramphenicol 20.7% and nalidixic acid 60.7%. One hundred eighteen (84.2%) of tested isolates were multi-drug resistant. Prevalence of integrons was confirmed in 27.1% of MDR isolates. intI1 and intI2 were detected respectively in 22.05% and 5.08% of MDR strains. No intI3 was detected. Resistance to gentamicin, amikacin and chloramphenicol was significantly associated with the presence of integrons. These results showed high resistance of E. coli to routine antibiotics, however, in consideration of low prevalence of integrons among these strains, we can conclude that antibiotic resistance genes in these strains presumably carried on elements other than integrons.

Keywords: Integron, Escherichia coli, Multi-drug resistance

Articles from Brazilian Journal of Microbiology are provided here courtesy of Elsevier