Self-transmissible multidrug resistance plasmids in Escherichia coli of the normal intestinal flora of healthy swine

Microb Drug Resist. Summer 2001;7(2):191-6. doi: 10.1089/10766290152045075.


The resistance genes and their surroundings on three self-transmissible plasmids found in Escherichia coli of the enteric normal flora of healthy pigs have been characterized. The resistance elements found are similar to those commonly found in clinical isolates, like the transposon Tn1721 including the Tet A tetracycline resistance determinant, Tn10 with the Tet B determinant, Tn21 including a class 1 integron with the aadA1a cassette inserted, sulII encoding sulfonamide resistance, and the strA-strB genes responsible for streptomycin resistance. The plasmids were able to mobilize into various recipients, including swine pathogens, zoonotic bacteria, and commensals when conjugation experiments were carried out. Transfer of plasmids did not require optimal conditions concerning nutrition and temperature as plasmids were transferred in 0.9% saline at room temperature, suggesting that in vivo transfer might be possible. This study shows that transferable resistance elements appearing in normal flora bacteria from animals are similar to those commonly found in clinical isolates of human origin. The results indicate a probable communication between pathogens and the normal flora with respect to exchange of resistance factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Conjugation, Genetic
  • Endonucleases / chemistry
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / microbiology
  • Intestines / microbiology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plasmids / genetics*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Swine


  • Endonucleases

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AJ238350
  • GENBANK/M36657