QRDR mutations, efflux system & antimicrobial resistance genes in enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli isolated from an outbreak of diarrhoea in Ahmedabad, India

G. P. Pazhani, S. Chakraborty, K. Fujihara, S. Yamasaki, A. Ghosh, G. B. Nair, T. Ramamurthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background & objectives: Diverse mechanisms have been identified in enteric bacteria for their adaptation and survival against multiple classes of antimicrobial agents. Resistance of bacteria to the most effective fluoroquinolones have increasingly been reported in many countries. We have identified that most of the enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) were resistant to several antimicrobials in a diarrhoea outbreak at Ahmedabad during The present study was done to identify several genes responsible for antimicrobial resistance and mobile genetic elements in the ETEC strains. Methods: Seventeen ETEC strains isolated from diarrhoeal patients were included in this study. The antimicrobial resistance was confirmed by conventional disc diffusion method. PCR and DNA sequencing were performed for the identification of mutation in the quinolone resistance-determining regions (QRDRs). Efflux pump was tested by inhibiting the proton-motive force. DNA hybridization assay was made for the detection of integrase genes and the resistance gene cassettes were identified by direct sequencing of the PCR amplicons. Results: Majority of the ETEC had GyrA mutations at codons 83 and 87 and in ParC at codon Six strains had an additional mutation in ParC at codon 108 and two had at position Plasmid-borne qnr gene alleles that encode quinolone resistance were not detected but the newly described aac(6')-Ib-cr gene encoding a fluoroquinolne-modifying enzyme was detected in 64.7 per cent of the ETEC. Class 1 (intI1) and class 2 (intI2) integrons were detected in six (35.3%) and three (17.6%) strains, respectively. Four strains (23.5%) had both the classes of integrons. Sequence analysis revealed presence of dfrA17, aadA1, aadA5 in class 1, and dfrA1, sat1, aadA1 in class 2 integrons. In addition, the other resistance genes such as tet gene alleles (94.1%), catAI (70.6%), strA (58.8%), blaTEM-1 (35.2%), and aphA1-Ia (29.4%) were detected in most of the strains. Interpretation & conclusions: Innate gene mutations and acquisition of multidrug resistance genes through mobile genetic elements might have contributed to the emergence of multidrug resistance (MDR) in ETEC. This study reinforces the necessity of utilizing molecular techniques in the epidemiological studies to understand the nature of resistance responsible for antimicrobial resistance in different species of pathogenic bacteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-223
Number of pages10
JournalIndian Journal of Medical Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • ETEC
  • Efflux system
  • Integrons
  • Mutations
  • QRDR
  • Resistance genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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