Characterization of epidemic IncI1-Iγ plasmids harboring ambler class A and C genes in Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica from animals and humans

Hilde Smith*, Alex Bossers, Frank Harders, Guanghui Wu, Neil Woodford, Stefan Schwarz, Beatriz Guerra, Irene Rodríguez, Alieda Van Essen-Zandbergen, Michael Brouwer, Dik Mevius

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of the study was to identify the plasmid-encoded factors contributing to the emergence and spread of epidemic IncI1-Iγ plasmids obtained from Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica isolates from animal and human reservoirs. For this, 251 IncI1-Iγ plasmids carrying various extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) or AmpC β-lactamase genes were compared using plasmid multilocus sequence typing (pMLST). Thirty-two of these plasmids belonging to different pMLST types were sequenced using Roche 454 and Illumina platforms. Epidemic IncI1-Iγ plasmids could be assigned to various dominant clades, whereas rarely detected plasmids clustered together as a distinct clade. Similar phylogenetic trees were obtained using only the plasmid backbone sequences, showing that the differences observed between the plasmids belonging to distinct clades resulted mainly from differences between their backbone sequences. Plasmids belonging to the various clades differed particularly in the presence/absence of genes encoding partitioning and addiction systems, which contribute to stable inheritance during cell division and plasmid maintenance. Despite this, plasmids belonging to the various phylogenetic clades also showed marked resistance gene associations, indicating the circulation of successful plasmid-gene combinations. The variation in traYand excA genes found in IncI1-Iγ plasmids is conserved within pMLST sequence types and plays a role in incompatibility, although functional study is needed to elucidate the role of these genes in plasmid epidemiology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5357-5365
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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