Objectives and methods: armA is a novel plasmid-borne 16S rRNA methyltransferase that confers high-level resistance to 4,6-disubstituted deoxystreptamines. Recently, we have isolated from a high-level broad-spectrum aminoglycoside-resistant Escherichia coli animal isolate a plasmid, pMUR050, that bore the armA gene. In order to elucidate the genetic basis for the spread of armA, we have determined the complete nucleotide sequence of pMUR050.
Results: armA was borne by a complex transposon composite flanked by two direct repeats of IS26. The transposon composite included a class one integron with sul1 for resistance to sulphonamides and ant3''9 conferring resistance to spectinomycin-streptomycin, and a macrolide efflux pump and mefE/mel conferring high-level resistance to erythromycin. We identified in GenBank that another plasmid, pCTX-M3, from a Polish Citrobacter freundii human isolate, bore the same genetic structure, including armA.
Conclusions: armA is present in human and animal isolates within a novel transposon composite. Further spread of armA between bacteria of diverse origin is to be expected.