Iranian Journal of Microbiology 2018. 10(1):22-29.

Gene cassettes of class I integron-associated with antimicrobial resistance in isolates of Citrobacter spp. with multidrug resistance
Roya Chegene Lorestani, Alisha Akya, Azam Elahi, Yazdan Hamzavi


Background and Objectives: Integrons play a major role in the transmission and accumulation of resistance factors in multidrug resistant bacteria. This study was aimed to evaluate the gene cassettes of class I integron and antimicrobial resistance in isolates of Citrobacter with multidrug resistance (MDR).

Materials and Methods: Ninety isolates of Citrobacter spp. were collected from the largest hospital in Kermanshah, Iran. Antimicrobial resistance patterns were determined using disc diffusion method. The class I integron were detected by PCR. The integrase positive isolates were further analyzed for the presence of gene cassettes using 5' and 3' conserved sequences (CSs) primers and PCR products were sequenced. The data were analyzed using the chi-square test.

Results: Of 90 Citrobacter isolates, 46 (51.1%) were multidrug resistant. Class I integron and gene cassettes were determined in 30 isolates (65.2%). Gene cassettes were found which contained genes encoded resistance to aminoglycosides and trimethoprim and a putative gene. Gene cassettes of dfrA12-orfF-aadA2, dfrA1-aadA1, aadA1 and dfrA15-aadA2 were also found in Citrobacter isolates.

Conclusion: Our results indicate there is a high frequency of class I integron among multi-drug resistant strains of Citrobacter isolated from clinical settings. A high frequency of class I integron associated gene cassettes, in particular dfr and aadA, present in MDR strains of Citrobacter. This data indicates an important role of integrons in the creation and transmission of MDR strains in health care centers.


Citrobacter, Gene cassettes, Integrons, Multidrug-resistant

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