Integrons are genetic platforms responsible for the dissemination of antimicrobial resistance genes among Gram-negative bacteria, primarily due to their association with transposable elements and conjugative plasmids. In this study, a cassette array containing four identical blaGES-5 genes embedded in a class 1 integron located on an IncP-1ß group plasmid from a clinical Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain was identified. Comparative genome analysis and conjugation assay showed that the plasmid pICP-4GES lacked the trbN, trbO and trbP genes but was conjugable. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing revealed that compared with single-copy blaGES-5 complementary strains, both the cloned and chromosome-targeted expression of four copies of blaGES-5 increased the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) by one to two dilutions for most of the selected antimicrobials. Quantitative real-time reverse transcription PCR (RT-qPCR) showed that the four consecutive cassettes increased blaGES-5 expression by approximately two-fold compared with the single-copy blaGES-5 strain, suggesting that the level of gene expression was not directly proportional to copy number. In addition, the gene cassette capture assay showed that the global blaGES-5 transfer frequency reached 5.38?×?10-4. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Journal: International journal of antimicrobial agents