Introduction: Two hundred twenty-one Acinetobacter baumannii clinical strains were collected from 25 hospitals in Spain. The aim of this study was to analyze the prevalence of the tetA and tetB genes in a collection of A. baumannii strains that were not epidemiologically related.
Methods: The strains were distributed in 79 clones by genomic DNA analysis with low frequency restriction enzymes and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. The MICs for tetracycline and minocycline were determined by the E-test. One strain representing each of the tetracycline-resistant clones was analyzed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with specific primers for the tetA and tetB genes.
Results: Fifty-nine (74.7%) out of the 79 clones were tetracycline-resistant (MIC > or = 16 mg/l) and 40 (50.6% of the total) were also minocycline-resistant (MIC > 1 mg/l). One strain representative of each tetracycline-resistant clone was taken to study the prevalence of the tetA and tetB genes. The PCR analysis showed that 39 strains representing the same number of clones (66%) had the tetB gene, while only 8 (13.6%) were positive for the tetA gene. Twelve strains did not have any of these genes. None of the analyzed strains had both genes.
Conclusion: Although resistance to tetracycline in Acinetobacter baumannii clinical isolates is greater than that to minocycline, the tetB gene, which affects both antimicrobial agents, has a higher prevalence than the tetA gene, which affects only tetracycline.