Rev Esp Quimioter 2011:24(4):184-190

Bacteroides mobilizable and conjugative genetic elements: antibiotic resistance among clinical isolates          

C. QUESADA-GÓMEZ             

The conjugation is one of the most important mechanisms of horizontal gene transfer in prokaryotes, leading to genetic variation within a species and the acquisition of new traits, such as antibiotic resistance. Bacteroides is an obligate anaerobe of the colon and a significant opportunistic pathogen. Antibiotic resistance among Bacteroides spp. is rapidly increasing, largely due to the dissemination of DNA transfer factors (plasmids and transposons) harbored by members of this genus. Transfer factors can be divided into two classes, conjugative and mobilizable. Species of the intestinal Bacteroides have yielded different resistance plasmids, all of which have been intensely studied, the plasmids encode high-level MLS resistance conferred by a conserved erm gene. It has been reported an interesting observation associated with the transfer of several of these types of elements, all of which conferred Tcr and displayed greatly increased transfer efficiency following exposure to tetracycline. Many of the conjugative transposons (CTns) in Bacteroides are related to various genetic elements (such as CTnDOT, CTnERL, NBU and others). CTnDOT carries a tetracycline resistance gene, tetQ, and an erythromycin resistance gene, ermF. Resistance to drugs used to treat Bacteroides infections, such as clindamycin, has also been increasing. These conjugal elements have been found in Bacteroides clinical isolates. Thus, horizontal gene transfer could conceivably have played a role in the rising incidence of resistance in this bacterial group. 

Rev Esp Quimioter 2011:24(4):184-190 [pdf]