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Molecular cloning and mechanism of trimethoprim resistance in Haemophilus influenzae

, : Molecular cloning and mechanism of trimethoprim resistance in Haemophilus influenzae. Antimicrobial Agents and ChemoTherapy 32(4): 477-484

We studied 10 trimethoprim-resistant (Tmpr) Haemophilus influenzae isolates for which agar dilution MICs were 10 to greater than 200 micrograms/ml. Trimethoprim resistance was transferred from two Tmpr H. influenzae isolates to a Tmps strain by conjugation or transformation. Wild-type Tmpr strains and Tmpr transcipients did not contain detectable plasmid DNA. The trimethoprim resistance gene was cloned into a cosmid vector, and recombinant plasmids were transduced into Escherichia coli. A 0.50-kilobase intragenic probe derived from a 12.9-kilobase fragment which encoded trimethoprim resistance hybridized with whole-cell DNA from Tmps and Tmpr strains. Southern blot analysis of restricted DNA from isogenic Tmps and Tmpr H. influenzae indicated that acquisition of trimethoprim resistance involved a rearrangement or change in nucleotide sequence. Hybridization was not seen with DNA derived from Tmpr E. coli containing dihydrofolate reductase I, II, and III genes or with Tmpr Neisseria meningitidis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and Pseudomonas cepacia. Southern hybridization with 12 multiply resistant encapsulated H. influenzae strains confirmed that the trimethoprim resistance gene was chromosomally mediated. Dihydrofolate reductase activity was significantly greater in cell sonicate supernatants of Tmpr strains in comparison with isogenic Tmps recipients. Differences were not found in the trimethoprim inhibition profile of dihydrofolate reductase activity in Tmps and Tmpr strains. We conclude that the mechanism of trimethoprim resistance in H. influenzae is overproduction of chromosomally located dihydrofolate reductase.


PMID: 2837138

DOI: 10.1128/AAC.32.4.477

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