The current ICE age: biology and evolution of SXT-related integrating conjugative elements

Plasmid. 2006 May;55(3):173-83. doi: 10.1016/j.plasmid.2006.01.001. Epub 2006 Mar 13.


SXT is an integrating conjugative element (ICE) that was initially isolated from a 1992 Vibrio cholerae O139 clinical isolate from India. This approximately 100-kb ICE encodes resistance to multiple antibiotics. SXT or closely related ICEs are now present in most clinical and some environmental V. cholerae isolates from Asia and Africa. SXT-related ICEs are not limited to V. cholerae. It is now clear that so-called IncJ elements such as R391 are closely related to SXT. More than 25 members of the SXT/R391 family of ICEs have now been identified in environmental and clinical isolates of diverse species of gamma-proteobacteria worldwide. In this review, we discuss the diversity, evolution and biology of this family of ICEs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / physiology*
  • Conjugation, Genetic
  • DNA Transposable Elements / physiology*
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Humans
  • Vibrio cholerae / genetics


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • o139 SXT constin protein, Vibrio cholerae