Large drug resistance virulence plasmids of clinical isolates of Salmonella enterica serovar Choleraesuis

C. Chu, C. H. Chiu, W. Y. Wu, C. H. Chu, T. P. Liu, J. T. Ou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

72 Scopus citations


Salmonella enterica serovar Choleraesuis generally causes systemic human salmonellosis without diarrhea, and therefore, antimicrobial treatment is essential for such patients. The drug resistance information on this organism is thus of high value. Serovar Choleraesuis usually harbors a virulence plasmid (pSCV) of 50 kb in size. Of the 16 clinical isolates identified to be serovar Choleraesuis, all except one harbored a pSCV and seven of them carried a pSCV of more than 125 kb in size. A pSCV was defined as a plasmid carrying spvC and characteristic deletions detected by PCR and by DNA-DNA hybridization (for the former criterion). The results of PCR, restriction fragment profiles, and Southern DNA-DNA hybridizations of the profiles all indicated that such larger pSCVs were derived from the 50-kb plasmid recombined with non-pSCVs found in some clinical isolates. Fifteen of the 17 strains, including a laboratory strain, were then tested for drug resistance against 16 antibiotics with E-test and the dilution method. The laboratory strain, which harbored a 50-kb pSCV and a 6-kb non-pSCV, was resistant only to sulfonamides (SUL), and its resistance gene, sulII, checked with PCR and DNA-DNA hybridization, was located on the 6-kb non-pSCV. All 14 clinical strains were resistant to multiple drugs. Of the 14, 7 were resistant to SUL, and the resistance gene was located on a plasmid. The sulII gene, but not blaTEM-1, was carried only on the 6-kb non-pSCV. Of the remaining six large plasmids, three of 90 kb, two of 136 kb, and one of 140 kb, the last three were pSCVs and carried the other SUL gene (sulI) and the blaTEM-1 gene. The six strains were also resistant to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. None of the 50-kb pSCVs carried resistance genes. These drug resistance genes on the large pSCVs were apparently also acquired through recombination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2299-2303
Number of pages5
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


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