Detection and characterization of antibiotic-resistance genes in Arcanobacterium pyogenes strains from abscesses of forest musk deer

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Arcanobacterium pyogenes is commonly isolated from ruminant animals as an opportunistic pathogen that co-infects with other bacteria, normally causing surface or internal abscesses. Twenty-eight strains of A. pyogenes isolated from forest musk deer suppurative samples were identified by their 16S rRNA gene sequences, and confirmed by amplification of the pyolysin-encoding gene (plo) in all isolates. The MICs of 14 commonly used antibiotics were determined by an agar dilution method. Class 1 and 2 intI genes were amplified to determine whether integrons were present in the A. pyogenes genome. Class 1 gene cassettes were detected by specific primers and analysed by sequencing. All of the strains were susceptible to most fluoroquinolone antibiotics; however, high resistance rates were observed for β-lactams and trimethoprim. A total of 18 of the isolates (64.3 %) were positive for the class 1 intI gene, and 16 (57.1 %) contained class 1 gene cassettes with the aacC, aadA1, aadA2, blaP1 and dfr2a genes. Most were present in the multi-resistant isolates, indicating a general concordance between the presence of gene cassettes and antibiotic resistance, and that the integrons have played an important role in the dissemination of antimicrobial resistance in this species.

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