Genetic organization and distribution of tetracycline resistance determinants in Clostridium perfringens

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The Tet P determinant from the conjugative Clostridium perfringens R plasmid pCW3 encodes two functional overlapping tetracycline resistance genes, tetA(P) and tetB(P). The tetA(P) gene encodes a putative 46-kDa transmembrane protein which mediates active efflux of tetracycline from the cell, while tetB(P) encodes a putative 72.6-kDa protein which has significant similarity to Tet M-like tetracycline resistance proteins (J. Sloan, L. M. McMurry, D. Lyras, S. B. Levy, and J. I. Rood, Mol. Microbiol. 11:403-415, 1994). In the present study, hybridization and PCR analysis of 81 tetracycline-resistant isolates of C. perfringens showed that they all carried the tetA(P) gene. Most of these isolates (93%) carried a second tetracycline resistance gene, with 53% carrying tetB(P) and 40% carrying a tet(M)-like gene. Despite the wide distribution of the tetB(P) and tet(M) genes, no isolate which carried both of these determinants was detected. In isolates that carried both tetA(P) and tetB(P) these genes overlapped, as in pCW3. Isolates carrying this combination of genes originated from diverse geographical locations and environmental sources. The single Clostridium paraputrificum isolate examined carried tetA(P), indicating that this gene is not confined to C. perfringens. However, neither tetA(P) nor tetB(P) was detected in the nine Clostridium difficile isolates tested. Nucleotide sequence analysis of isolates lacking tetB(P) revealed that they contained the tetA408(P) gene, which lacked the codons for the 12 carboxy- terminal amino acids of the TetA(P) protein.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2500-2504
Number of pages5
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 1996

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