Prevalence and expression of the plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance determinant qnrA1

Xiaogang Xu, Shi Wu, Xinyu Ye, Yang Liu, Wanliang Shi, Yingyuan Zhang, Minggui Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Since its discovery, qnrA has been found in most common Enterobacteriaceae. Ciprofloxacin MICs conferred by different qnrA-positive plasmids could range from 0.1 μg/ml to 2 μg/ml in Escherichia coli J53. The reasons for different ciprofloxacin MICs conferred by qnrA have not been fully clarified. Five hundred forty-one consecutive gram-negative clinical strains that were resistant or intermediate to ciprofloxacin and that were isolated in Shanghai in 2005 were screened for qnrA by PCR. For qnrA-positivt isolates, the transferability of quinolone resistance was determined by conjugation and mutations within the quinolone resistance-determining region (QRDR) of gyrA and parC. aac(6′)-Ib-cr was detected and qnrA RNA expression was determined using real-time reverse transcription-PCR for transconjugants with different ciprofloxacin MICs. The qnrA gene was detected in 7 of the 541 clinical isolates. Quinolone resistance was transferred in four strains by conjugation. Mutations in the QRDR of gyrA and parC were detected in five qnrA-positive clinical strains with higher ciprofloxacin MICs. Of four qnrA-bearing plasmids in E. coli J53, pHS4 and pHS5 conferred ciprofloxacin MICs of 0.094 to 0.125 μg/ml; pHS3, which harbored the aac(6′)-Ib-cr gene as well, conferred a ciprofloxacin MIC of 0.25 μg/ml, and pHS6, which had both the aac(6′)-Ib-cr gene and a high expression level of qnrA, had a ciprofloxacin MIC of 1.0 μg/ml. The prevalence of qnrA appeared to be higher in Enterobacter cloacae than in other Enterobacteriaceae. The coexistence of qnrA and aac(6′)-Ib-cr in a single plasmid and increased qnrA expression can account for the different levels of ciprofloxacin resistance seen in transconjugants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4105-4110
Number of pages6
JournalAntimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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