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An in silico analysis of acquired antimicrobial resistance genes in Aeromonas plasmids

1 School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, United Kingdom
2 Department of Science Laboratory Technology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria

Sequences of 105 Aeromonas species plasmids were probed for acquired anti-microbial resistance (AMR) genes using a bioinformatics approach. The plasmids showed no positive linear correlation between size and GC content and up to 55 acquired AMR genes were found in 39 (37%) plasmids after in silico screening for resistance against 15 antibiotic drug classes. Overall, potential multiple antibiotic resistance (p-MAR) index ranged from 0.07 to 0.53. Up to 18 plasmids were predicted to mediate multiple drug resistance (MDR). Plasmids pS121-1a (A. salmonicida), pWCX23_1 (A. hydrophila) and pASP-a58 (A. veronii) harboured 18, 15 and 14 AMR genes respectively. The five most occurring drug classes for which AMR genes were detected were aminoglycosides (27%), followed by beta-lactams (17%), sulphonamides (13%), fluoroquinolones (13%), and phenicols (10%). The most prevalent genes were a sulphonamide resistant gene Sul1, the gene aac (6')-Ib-cr (aminoglycoside 6'-N-acetyl transferase type Ib-cr) resistant to aminoglycosides and the blaKPC-2 gene, which encodes carbapenemase-production. Plasmid acquisition of AMR genes was mainly inter-genus rather than intra-genus. Eighteen plasmids showed template or host genes acquired from Pseudomonas monteilii, Salmonella enterica or Escherichia coli. The most occurring antimicrobial resistance determinants (ARDs) were beta-lactamase, followed by aminoglycosides acetyl-transferases, and then efflux pumps. Screening of new isolates in vitro and in vivo is required to ascertain the level of phenotypic expression of colistin and other acquired AMR genes detected.
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Keywords Aeromonas; acquired antimicrobial resistance; plasmids; GC content; multiple antimicrobial resistance; predicted multidrug resistance; Colistin

Citation: Ogueri Nwaiwu, Chiugo Claret Aduba. An in silico analysis of acquired antimicrobial resistance genes in Aeromonas plasmids. AIMS Microbiology, 2020, 6(1): 75-91. doi: 10.3934/microbiol.2020005

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