Prevalence and Characterization of Plasmid-mediated Quinolone Resistance Genes among Escherichia coli Strains Isolated from Different Water Sources in Alborz Province, Iran

Reza Ranjbar, Shahrzad Tavanania, Azar Sabokbar, Faham Khamesipour


BACKGROUND: This study was conducted to investigate the prevalence of quinolone resistance associated (qnr) antibiotic resistance among Escherichia coli strains isolated from different water sources in Alborz province, Iran.

METHODS: E. coli strains were isolated and identified by standard microbiological and biochemical tests from surface water sources in Alborz province, Iran in 2013. Fluoroquinolone-resistant isolates were determined using the antimicrobial susceptibility test determined by the Kirby–Bauer assay. Total genomic and plasmid DNA were extracted by boiling method. The presence of qnr genes in all nalidixic-acid and ciprofloxacin-resistant E. coli strains was determined by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). The PCR amplicons were visualized after electrophoresis stained with ethidium bromide.

RESULTS: One hundred E. coli strains were isolated from the water sources examined in this study. As much as 22.7% and 7.3% of the isolates were resistant to nalidixic acid and ciprofloxacin respectively. While qnrS, qnrB and qnrA genes were detected in 28%, 9% and 1% of fluoroquinolone-resistant isolates respectively. All fluoroquinolone-susceptible isolates however did not contain any of the qnr genes.

CONCLUSION: This study reflects an increasing prevalence of fluoroquinolone-resistant E. coli strains in surface water sources. Underlining the importance of surface water sources as reservoirs for dissemination of potentially pathogenic E. coli and horizontal gene transfer between other waterborne bacterial species. Other possible mechanisms of resistance should also be investigated for better characterization of quinolone-resistant E. coli isolates. Therefore, immediate measures are needed to control and treat water sources more effectively.

KEYWORDS: antibiotic resistance, E. coli, qnr genes, water sources


Full Text:



Accogli M, Fortini D, Giufre M, Graziani C, Dolejska M, Carattoli A, et al. IncI1 plasmids associated with the spread of CMY-2, CTX-M-1 and SHV-12 in Escherichia coli of animal and human origin. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2013; 19: E238-40, CrossRef.

Amiri HS, Ranjbar R, Sohrabi N, Khamesipour F. Molecular typing of uropathogenic Escherichia coli strains isolated from patients by REP-PCR. Sovremennye Tehnologii V Medicine. 2017; 9: 71-5, CrossRef.

Torkan S, Bahadoranian MA, Khamesipour F, Anyanwu MU. Detection of virulence and antimicrobial resistance genes in Escherichia coli isolates from diarrhoiec dogs in Iran. Arch Med Vet. 2016; 48: 181-90, CrossRef.

Tajbakhsh E, Ahmadi P, Abedpour-Dehkordi E, Arbab-Soleimani N, Khamesipour F. Biofilm formation, antimicrobial susceptibility, serogroups and virulence genes of uropathogenic E. coli isolated from clinical samples in Iran. Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2016; 5: 11, CrossRef.

Ranjbar R, Hosseini S, Zahraei-Salehi T, Kheiri R, Khamesipour F. Investigation on prevalence of Escherichia coli strains carrying virulence genes ipaH, estA, eaeA and bfpA isolated from different water sources. Asian Pac J Trop Dis. 2016; 6: 278-83, CrossRef.

Molton JS, Tambyah PA, Ang BS, Ling ML, Fisher DA. The global spread of healthcare-associated multidrug-resistant bacteria: a perspective from Asia. Clin Infect Dis. 2013; 56: 1310-8, CrossRef.

Tajbakhsh E, Khamesipour F, Ranjbar R, Ugwu IC. Prevalence of class 1 and class 2 integrons in multi-drug resistant Escherichia coli isolated from aquaculture water in Chaharmahal Va Bakhtiari province, Iran. Ann Clin Microbiol Antimicrob. 2015; 14: 37, CrossRef.

Rahimi E, Shirazi F, Khamesipour F. Isolation and study of the antibiotic resistance properties of Shigella species in meat and meat products. J Food Process Preserv. 2017; 41: e12947, CrossRef.

Strahilevitz J, Jacoby GA, Hooper DC, Robicsek A. Plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance: a multifaceted threat. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2009; 22: 664-89, CrossRef.

Abdi S, Ranjbar R, Vala MH, Jonaidi N, Bejestany OB, Bejestany FB. Frequency of bla TEM, bla SHV, bla CTX-M, and qnrA among Escherichia coli isolated from urinary tract infection. Arch Clin Infect Dis. 2014; 9: e18690, CrossRef.

Khamesipour F, Tajbakhsh E. Analyzed the genotypic and phenotypic antibiotic resistance patterns of Klebsiella pneumoniae isolated from clinical samples in Iran. Biomed Res. 2016; 27: 1017-26, article.

Martinez-Martinez L, Pascual A, Jacoby GA. Quinolone resistance from a transferable plasmid. Lancet. 1998; 351: 797-9, CrossRef.

Jacoby GA, Strahilevitz J, Hooper DC. Plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance. Microbiol Spectr. 2014; 2: 0006-2013, CrossRef.

Yang HY, Nam YS, Lee HJ. Prevalence of plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance genes among ciprofloxacin-nonsusceptible Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae isolated from blood cultures in Korea. Can J Infect Dis Med Microbiol. 2014; 225: 163-9, PMID.

Cooke NM, Smith SG, Kelleher M, Rogers TR. Major differences exist in frequencies of virulence factors and multidrug resistance between community and nosocomial Escherichia coli bloodstream isolates. J Clin Microbiol. 2010; 48: 1099-104, CrossRef.

Kheiri R, Ranjbar R, Khamesipour F, Akhtari L. Role of antibiotic in drug resistance and integrons prevalence in Escherichia coli isolated from human and animal specimens. Kafkas Univ Vet Fak Derg. 2016; 22: 953-9, CrossRef.

Hemmatinezhad B, Khamesipour F, Mohammadi M, Safarpoor Dehkordi F, Mashak Z. Characterization of Escherichia coli in poultry meat. J Food Saf. 2015; 35: 491-500.

Pena A, Chmielova D, Lino CM, Solich P. Determination of fluoroquinolone antibiotics in surface waters from Mondego River by high performance liquid chromatography using a monolithic column. J Sep Sci. 2007; 30: 2924-8, CrossRef.

Talebiyan R, Kheradmand M, Khamesipour F, Rabiee-Faradonbeh M. Multiple antimicrobial resistance of Escherichia coli Isolated from chickens in Iran. Vet Med Int. 2014; 2014: 491418, CrossRef.

Mendonca N, Ramalho J, Vieira P, Da Silva GJ. Association of plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance and virulence markers in Escherichia coli isolated from water. J Water Health. 2012; 10: 288-94, CrossRef.

Ranjbar R, Pezeshknejad P, Khamesipour F, Amini K, Kheiri R. Genomic fingerprints of Escherichia coli strains isolated from surface water in Alborz province, Iran. BMC Res Notes, 2017; 10: 295, CrossRef.

Tajbakhsh E, Tajbakhsh S, Khamesipour F. Isolation and molecular detection of gram negative bacteria causing urinary tract infection in patients referred to Shahrekord Hospitals, Iran. Iran Red Crescent Med J. 2015; 17: e24779, CrossRef.

Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute. Performance Standards for Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing; Twenty-Second Informational Supplement. CLSI document M100-S22. Wayne, PA: Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute; 2012, article.

Robicsek A, Sahm F, Strahilvitz J, Jacoby JA. Broader distribution of plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance in United States. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2005; 49; 3001-3, CrossRef.

Bouchakour M, Zerouali KH, Claude JD, Amarouch H, Mdaghri NE, Courvalian P, et al. Plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance in expanded spectrum beta lactamase producing entrobacteriaceae in Morocco. J Infect Dev Ctries. 2010; 4: 799-803, CrossRef.

World Health Organization. Guidelines for drinking-water quality. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2004, article.

Rahimi E, Khamesipour F, Yazdi F, Momtaz H. Isolation and characterization of enterohaemorragic Escherichia coli O157: H7 and EHEC O157: NM from raw bovine, camel, water buffalo, caprine and ovine milk in Iran. Kafkas Univ Vet Fak Derg. 2012; 18: 559-64, CrossRef.

Kariuki S, Revathi G, Corkill J, Kiiru J, Mwituria J, Mirza N, et al. Escherichia coli from community-acquired urinary tract infections resistant to fluoroquinolones and extended-spectrum betalactamase. J Infect Dev Ctries. 2007; 1: 257-62, CrossRef.

Yamane K, Wachino J, Suzuki S, Arakawa Y. Plasmid-mediated qepA gene among Escherichia coli clinical isolates from Japan. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2008; 52: 1564-6, CrossRef.

Pommier Y, Leo E, Zhang H, Marchand C. DNA topoisomerases and their poisoning by anticancer and antibacterial drugs. Chem Biol. 2010; 17: 421-433, CrossRef.

Karlowsky JA, Hoban DJ, de Corby MR, Laing NM, Zhanel GG. Fluoroquinolone-resistant urinary isolates of Escherichia coli from out patients are frequently multidrug-resistant: results from the North American urinary tract infection collaborative alliancequinolone resistance study. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2006; 50: 2251-4, CrossRef.

Ozgumus OB, Celik-Sevim E, Alpay-Karaoglu S, Sandalli C, Sevim A. Molecular characterization of antibiotic resistant Escherichia coli strains isolated from tap and spring waters in a coastal region in Turkey. J Microbiol. 2007; 379-387, PMID.

Constance N, Wose K, Njie A, Tonderai K. Antibiotic resistance profiles of Escherichia coli isolated from different water sources in the Mmabatho locality, North-West Province, South Africa. S Afr J Sci. 2002; 22: 123-62.

Divya S, Srinivasan D, Mohamed H. Antibiotic resistance of Escherichia coli serotypes from cochin estuary. Interdiscip Perspect Infect Dis. 2012; 2012; 124879, CrossRef.

Coleman BL, Salvadori MI, McGeer AJ, Sibley KA, Neumann NF, Bondy SJ, et al. The role of drinking water in the transmission of antimicrobial-resistant E. coli. Epidemiol Infect. 2012; 140: 633-42, CrossRef.

Pathak SP, Gopal K. Prevalence of bacterial contamination with antibiotic-resistant and enterotoxigenic fecal coliforms in treated drinking water. J T oxicol Environ Health A. 2008; 71: 427-33, CrossRef.

Talukdar PK, Rahman M, Rahman M, Nabi A, Islam Z, Hoque MM, et al. Antimicrobial resistance, virulence factors and genetic diversity of Escherichia coli isolates from household water supply in dhaka, Bangladesh. Characterization of E. coli Isolated from Water. PLoS One. 2013; 8: e61090, CrossRef.

Mokracka J, Koczura R, Jabłońska L, Kaznowski A. Phylogenetic groups, virulence genes and quinolone resistance of integronbearing Escherichia coli strains isolated from a waste water treatment plant. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, 2011; 99: 817-24, CrossRef.

Su HC, Ying GG, Tao R, Zhang RQ, Zhao JL, Liu YS. Class 1 and 2 integrons, sul resistance genes and antibiotic resistance in Escherichia coli isolated from Dongjiang River, South China. Environ Pollut. 2012; 169: 42-9, CrossRef.

Roe MT, Vega E, Pillai SD. Antimicrobial resistance markers of class 1 and class 2 integron-bearing Escherichia coli from irrigation water and sediments. Emerg Infect Dis. 2003; 9: 822-6, CrossRef.

Dhanji H, Murphy N, Akhigbe C, Doumith M, Hope R, Livermore DM, et al. Isolation of fluoroquinolone-resistant O25b:H4-ST131 Escherichia coli with CTX-M-14 extended-spectrum b-lactamase from UK river water. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2011; 66: 512-6, CrossRef.

Sun J, Hu J, Peng H, Shi J, Dong Z. Molecular and physiological characterization of fluoroquinolone resistance in relation to uropathogenicity among Escherichia coli isolated from Wenyu River, China. Chemosphere. 2012; 87: 37-42, CrossRef.


Indexed by:






The Prodia Education and Research Institute