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      Plasmids and the spread of resistance.

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          Abstract

          Plasmids represent one of the most difficult challenge for counteracting the dissemination of antimicrobial resistance. They contribute to the spread of relevant resistance determinants, promoting horizontal gene transfer among unrelated bacteria. Undistinguishable plasmids were identified in unrelated bacterial strains isolated at huge geographically distant area, with no apparent epidemiological links. These plasmids belong to families that are largely prevalent in naturally occurring bacteria, usually carry multiple physically linked genetic determinants, conferring resistance to different classes of antibiotics simultaneously. Plasmids also harbour virulence factors and addiction systems, promoting their stability and maintenance in the bacterial host, in different environmental conditions. The characteristics of the most successful plasmids that were at the origin of the spread of carbapenemase, expanded-spectrum β-lactamase, and plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance genes are discussed in this review.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Int J Med Microbiol
          International journal of medical microbiology : IJMM
          Elsevier BV
          1618-0607
          1438-4221
          Aug 2013
          : 303
          : 6-7
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immune-Mediated Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome, Italy. alecara@iss.it
          Article
          S1438-4221(13)00016-7
          10.1016/j.ijmm.2013.02.001
          23499304
          2d34ff53-48a1-4694-884a-acc53e499cf3
          Copyright © 2013 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
          History

          Carbapenemases,ESBL,Incompatibility groups,PMQR,Replicon typing

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