tISCpe8, an IS1595-family lincomycin resistance element located on a conjugative plasmid in Clostridium perfringens

Dena Lyras, Victoria Michelle Adams, Susan Alicia Ballard, Wee Lin Teng, Pauline Howarth, Paul Crellin, Trudi Leanne Bannam, J Glenn Songer, Julian Ian Rood

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Clostridium perfringens is a normal gastrointestinal organism that is a reservoir for antibiotic resistance genes and can potentially act as a source from which mobile elements and their associated resistance determinants can be transferred to other bacterial pathogens. Lincomycin resistance in C. perfringens is common and is usually encoded by erm genes that confer macrolide-lincosamide-Streptogramin B (MLS) resistance. In this study we have identified strains that are lincomycin resistant but erythromycin sensitive and have shown that the lincomycin resistance determinant was plasmid-borne and could be transferred to other C. perfringens isolates by conjugation. This plasmid, pJIR2774, is the first conjugative C. perfringens R-plasmid to be identified that does not confer tetracycline resistance. Further analysis showed that resistance was encoded by the lnuP gene, which encoded a putative lincosamide nucleotidyltransferase, and was located on tISCpe8, a functional transposable genetic element that was a member of the IS1595 family of transposon-like insertion sequences. This element had significant similarity to the mobilizable lincomycin resistance element tISSag10 from Streptococcus agalactiae. Like tISSag10, tISCpe8 carries a functional origin of transfer within the resistance gene, allowing the element to be mobilized by the conjugative transposon Tn916. The similarity of these elements and the finding that they both contain an oriT-like region supports the hypothesis that conjugation may result in the movement of DNA modules that are not obviously mobile since they are not linked to conjugation or mobilization functions. This process is likely to play a significant role in bacterial adaptation and evolution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6345 - 6351
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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