Journal Article

Molecular mechanisms of resistance in multidrug-resistant serovars of <i>Salmonella enterica</i> isolated from foods in Germany

Angelika Miko, Karin Pries, Andreas Schroeter and Reiner Helmuth

in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Published on behalf of British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Volume 56, issue 6, pages 1025-1033
Published in print December 2005 | ISSN: 0305-7453
Published online October 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2091 | DOI:
Molecular mechanisms of resistance in multidrug-resistant serovars of Salmonella enterica isolated from foods in Germany

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  • Medical Oncology
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Objectives: The objectives of this study were to determine antimicrobial susceptibility and to characterize the molecular mechanisms of multidrug resistance among German food-borne Salmonella isolates of different serovars.

Methods: A total of 319 epidemiologically independent multidrug-resistant isolates from German foodstuffs comprising 25 different serovars were tested for their antimicrobial susceptibility by broth microdilution. The presence of antimicrobial resistance genes, integrons of classes 1 and 2 and their integrated resistance gene cassettes as well as the Salmonella genomic island 1 (SGI1) was investigated by PCR and DNA sequencing. Localization of integrons and relevant resistance genes was done by Southern hybridization. Sequence analysis revealed mutations in the quinolone resistance-determining region of the gyrA gene.

Results: The most prevalent resistances found in the multidrug-resistant serovars of Salmonella enterica from foods were to streptomycin (94%), sulfamethoxazole (92%), tetracycline (81%), ampicillin (73%), spectinomycin (72%), chloramphenicol (48%) and trimethoprim (27%). Twenty-four resistance genes covering six antimicrobial families (β-lactams, aminoglycosides, phenicols, sulphonamides, tetracycline, and trimethoprim) were identified in the food isolates, many of them integrated as gene cassettes in class 1 and class 2 integrons. Class 1 integrons were detected in 65% of the multidrug-resistant Salmonella isolates comprising 16 different serovars, while class 2 integrons were found in 10% of the isolates belonging to two serovars only. The results demonstrate a clear predominance of both SGI1-borne resistance genes and class 1 integrons in Salmonella serovar Typhimurium DT104 and of class 2 integrons in Salmonella serovar Paratyphi B (d-tartrate positive). Nalidixic acid resistance found in 15% of the isolates was associated with single mutations in the gyrA gene.

Conclusions: This study confirms the role of foods of animal and other origin as a reservoir of multidrug-resistant Salmonella and underlines the need for continuing surveillance of food-borne zoonotic bacterial pathogens along the food chain.

Keywords: multidrug resistance; resistance genes; integrons; class 1 integrons; class 2 integrons; gene cassettes; food safety

Journal Article.  6420 words. 

Subjects: Medical Oncology ; Critical Care

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