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Mutations that increase expression of the EmrAB-TolC efflux pump confer increased resistance to nitroxoline in Escherichia coli.
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2019 (English)In: Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, ISSN 0305-7453, E-ISSN 1460-2091, article id dkz434Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

OBJECTIVES: To determine the mechanism of resistance to the antibiotic nitroxoline in Escherichia coli.

METHODS: Spontaneous nitroxoline-resistant mutants were selected at different concentrations of nitroxoline. WGS and strain reconstruction were used to define the genetic basis for the resistance. The mechanistic basis of resistance was determined by quantitative PCR (qPCR) and by overexpression of target genes. Fitness costs of the resistance mutations and cross-resistance to other antibiotics were also determined.

RESULTS: Mutations in the transcriptional repressor emrR conferred low-level resistance to nitroxoline [nitroxoline MIC (MICNOX) = 16 mg/L] by increasing the expression of the emrA and emrB genes of the EmrAB-TolC efflux pump. These resistant mutants showed no fitness reduction and displayed cross-resistance to nalidixic acid. Second-step mutants with higher-level resistance (MICNOX = 32-64 mg/L) had mutations in the emrR gene, together with either a 50 kb amplification, a mutation in the gene marA, or an IS upstream of the lon gene. The latter mutations resulted in higher-level nitroxoline resistance due to increased expression of the tolC gene, which was confirmed by overexpressing tolC from an inducible plasmid in a low-level resistance mutant. Furthermore, the emrR mutations conferred a small increase in resistance to nitrofurantoin only when combined with an nfsAB double-knockout mutation. However, nitrofurantoin-resistant nfsAB mutants showed no cross-resistance to nitroxoline.

CONCLUSIONS: Mutations in different genes causing increased expression of the EmrAB-TolC pump lead to an increased resistance to nitroxoline. The structurally similar antibiotics nitroxoline and nitrofurantoin appear to have different modes of action and resistance mechanisms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. article id dkz434
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Microbiology Microbiology in the medical area
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-396064DOI: 10.1093/jac/dkz434PubMedID: 31633764OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-396064DiVA, id: diva2:1366573
Available from: 2019-10-29 Created: 2019-10-29 Last updated: 2019-10-29

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