OBJECTIVES: Nalidixic acid-resistant Salmonella enterica serovars Kentucky (n = 5) and Virchow (n = 6) cultured from individuals were investigated for the presence of plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance (PMQR) determinants.
METHODS: PMQR markers and mutations within the quinolone resistance-determining regions of the target genes were investigated by PCR followed by DNA sequencing. Conjugation, plasmid profiling and targeted PCR were performed to demonstrate the transferability of the qnrS1 gene. Subsequently, a plasmid was identified that carried a quinolone resistance marker and this was completely sequenced.
RESULTS: A Salmonella Virchow isolate carried a qnrS1 gene associated with an IncN incompatibility group conjugative plasmid of 40 995 bp, which was designated pVQS1. The latter conferred resistance to ampicillin and nalidixic acid and showed sequence similarity in its core region to plasmid R46, whilst the resistance-encoding region was similar to pAH0376 from Shigella flexneri and pINF5 from Salmonella Infantis and contained an IS26 remnant, a complete Tn3 structure, a truncated IS2 element and a qnrS1 marker, followed by IS26. In contrast to pINF5, IS26 was identified immediately downstream of the qnrS1 gene.
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first known report of a qnrS1 gene in Salmonella spp. in Switzerland. Analysis of the complete nucleotide sequence of the qnrS1-containing plasmid showed a novel arrangement of this antibiotic resistance-encoding region.