Identification of Plasmid-Mediated Quinolone Resistance qnr Genes in Multidrug-Resistant Gram-Negative Bacteria from Hospital Wastewaters and Receiving Waters in the Jinan Area, China.
We investigated the prevalence of plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance (PMQR) qnr genes by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in antibiotic-resistant bacteria isolates collected from aquatic environments in Jinan during 2 years (2008.3-2009.11). Genes were identified to variant level by PCR restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis or sequencing. qnrA1, qnrB2, qnrB4, qnrB6, qnrB9, qnrS1, and the new qnrB variant qnrB26 were detected in 31 strains from six genera (Klebsiella spp., Escherichia coli, Enterobacter spp., Proteus spp., Shigella spp., and Citrobacter spp.), four of which contained double qnr genes. Other PMQR genes, aac(6)-Ib-cr and qepA, were found in 12 (38.7%) and 5 (16.1%) of 31 isolates, respectively; while qepA was found in Shigella spp. for the first time. Eight types of ?-lactamase genes and eight other types of resistance genes were also present in the 31 qnr-positive isolates. The detection rate for five ?-lactamase genes (blaTEM, blaCTX, ampR, blaDHA, and blaSHV) was >45%. Class 1 integrons and complex class 1 integrons were prevalent in these strains, which contained 15 different gene cassette arrays and 5 different insertion sequence common region 1 (ISCR1)-mediated downstream structures. qnrA1, qnrB2, and qnrB6 were present in three ISCR1-mediated downstream structures: qnrA1-ampR, sapA-like-qnrB2, and sdr-qnrB6. We also analyzed the horizontal transferability of PMQR genes and other resistance determinants. The qnr genes and some integrons and resistance genes from 18 (58.1%) of the 31 qnr-positive strains could be transferred to E. coli J53 Azi(R) or E. coli DH5? recipient strains using conjugation or transformation methods. The results showed that a high number of qnr genes were associated with other resistance genes in aquatic environments in Jinan. This suggests that we should avoid over-using antibiotics and monitor aquatic environments to control the spread of antibiotic resistance genes.