Investigation of diversity of plasmids carrying the blaTEM-52 gene

J Antimicrob Chemother. 2011 Nov;66(11):2465-74. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkr331. Epub 2011 Aug 10.


Objectives: To investigate the diversity of plasmids that carry bla(TEM-52) genes among Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica originating from animals, meat products and humans.

Methods: A collection of 22 bla(TEM-52)-encoding plasmids was characterized by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), replicon typing (by PCR or replicon sequencing), susceptibility testing, assessment of plasmid ability to self-transfer by conjugation and typing of the genetic environment of the bla(TEM-52) gene. Detected IncI1 plasmids underwent further plasmid multilocus sequence typing.

Results: RFLP profiles demonstrated dissemination of bla(TEM-52) in Denmark (imported meat from Germany), France, Belgium and the Netherlands from 2000 to 2006 by mainly two different plasmids, one encoding bla(TEM-52b) (IncX1A, 45 kb) and the other bla(TEM-52c) (IncI1, 80 kb). In addition, bla(TEM-52b) was also found to be located on various other plasmids belonging to IncA/C and IncL/M, while bla(TEM-52c) was found on IncN-like as well as on IncR plasmids. In the majority of cases (n = 21) the bla(TEM-52) gene was located on a Tn3 transposon. Seven out of 10 bla(TEM-52) plasmids tested in conjugation experiments were shown to be capable of self-transfer to a plasmid-free E. coli recipient.

Conclusions: The bla(TEM-52) gene found in humans could have been transmitted on transferable plasmids originating from animal sources. Some of the bla(TEM-52) plasmids carry replicons that differ from the classical ones. Two novel replicons were detected, IncX1A and IncN-like. Unlike its predecessor bla(TEM-1), the bla(TEM-52) gene was not detected on F-type replicons suggesting that this gene evolved on other types of plasmid scaffolds.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Transposable Elements / genetics
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli* / drug effects
  • Escherichia coli* / genetics
  • Escherichia coli* / isolation & purification
  • Europe
  • Gene Transfer, Horizontal
  • Genetic Variation
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Multilocus Sequence Typing
  • Plasmids* / isolation & purification
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Salmonella enterica* / drug effects
  • Salmonella enterica* / genetics
  • Salmonella enterica* / isolation & purification
  • Transposases / genetics
  • beta-Lactam Resistance / genetics
  • beta-Lactamases / genetics*
  • beta-Lactams / pharmacology


  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • beta-Lactams
  • Tn3 transposase
  • Transposases
  • TEM-52 beta-lactamase
  • beta-Lactamases