Shigella sonnei biotype g carrying class 2 integrons in southern Italy: a retrospective typing study by pulsed field gel electrophoresis.

Caterina Mammina, Cristina Romani, Aurora Aleo, Caterina Mammina, Antonino Nastasi, Aurora Aleo

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    17 Citazioni (Scopus)


    Background: Emergence and global dissemination of multiresistant strains of enteric pathogens is a very concerningproblem from both epidemiological and Public Health points of view. Shigella sonnei is the serogroup of Shigella mostfrequently responsible for sporadic and epidemic enteritis in developed countries. The dissemination is associated mostoften to human to human transmission, but foodborne episodes have also been described. In recent years the circulationof multiresistant strains of S. sonnei biotype g carrying a class 2 integron has been reported in many countries worldwide.In southern Italy a strain with similar properties has been responsible for a large community outbreak occurred in 2003in Palermo, Sicily.The objective of this study was to date the emergence of the biotype g strain carrying the class 2 integron in southernItaly and to evaluate the genetic heterogeneity of biotype g S. sonnei isolated throughout an extended interval of time.Methods: A total of 31 clinical isolates of S. sonnei biotype g identified in southern Italy during the years 1971–2000 werestudied. The strains were identified at the serogroup level, characterized by biochemical tests and submitted toantimicrobial susceptibility testing. Molecular typing was performed by pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) afterdigestion of DNA by XbaI. Carriage of class 2 integrons was investigated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with specificprimers and confirmed by restriction endonuclease analysis of amplicons.Results: The 15 isolates of S. sonnei biotype g identified in the decade 1971–1980 showed highly heterogeneous drugresistance profiles and pulsotypes. None of the isolates was simultaneous resistant to streptomycin and trimethoprimand none was class 2 integron positive. On the contrary, this resistance phenotype and class 2 integron carriage werevery common among the 16 strains of biotype g identified in the following two decades. Moreover, all the more recentisolates, but one, showed closely related pulsotypes.Conclusion: Although our findings refer to a limited geographic area, they provide a snapshot of integron acquisitionby an enteric pathogen responsible for several outbreaks in the years 2001–2003 in Italy. Molecular typing, indeed,suggests that the emergence of biotype g class 2 integron carrying S. sonnei in southern Italy should be backdated to atleast the late 1980s. In the following decades, the circulation of biotype g appears to be sustained by multiresistant highlyrelated strains. Similar trend are described in several countries, but the questions about mechanism of emergence andworldwide spread of this pathogen remain open
    Lingua originaleEnglish
    pagine (da-a)117-121
    Numero di pagine5
    RivistaBMC Infectious Diseases
    Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2006

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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