DRUG RESISTANCE IN VIBRIO CHOLERAE STRAINS ISOLATED FROM CLINICAL SPECIMENS
Cholera is a serious epidemic and endemic disease caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Vibrio cholerae. SXT is an integrative conjugation element (ICE) that was isolated from a V. cholerae; it encodes resistance to the antibiotics chloramphenicol, streptomycin and sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim. One hundred seven V. cholerae O1 strains were collected from cholera patients in Iran from 2005 to 2007 in order to study the presence of SXT constin and antibiotic resistance. The study examined 107 Vibrio cholerae strains isolated from cholera prevalent in some Iranian provinces. Bacterial isolation and identification were carried out according to standard bacteriological methods. Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) and Minimum Bactericidal Concentration (MBC) to four antibiotics (chloramphenicol, streptomycin, sulfamethoxazole, and trimethoprim) were determined by broth microdilution method. PCR was employed to evaluate the presence of established antibiotic resistance genes and SXT constin using specific primer sets. The resistance of the clinical isolates to sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprime, chloramphenicol, and streptomycin was 97%, 99%, 99%, and 90%, respectively. The data obtained by PCR assay showed that the genes sulII, dfrA1, floR, strB, and sxt element were present in 95.3%, 95.3%, 81.3%, 95.3%, and 95.3% of the V. cholerae isolates. The Vibrio strains showed the typical multidrug-resistance phenotype of an SXT constin. They were resistant to sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprime, chloramphenicol, and streptomycin. The detected antibiotic resistance genes included dfrA for trimethoprim and floR, strB, sulII and int, respectively, for chloramphenicol, streptomycin, sulfamethoxazole, as well as the SXT element.