Transfer of conjugative plasmid pAMβ1 from Lactococcus lactis to mouse intestinal bacteria

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S. IGIMI, C.H. RYU, S.H. PARK, Y. SASAKI, T. SASAKI AND S. KUMAGAI. 1996. Conjugal transfer of plasmid pAMβ1 from Lactococcus lactis to intestinal bacteria of BALB/c mice was studied. Plasmid transfer was observed to Enterococcus faecalis in vitro by a filter mating method with transfer frequencies of 2.3 × 10-3 and with lower frequencies to other species. In vivo, using gastric intubation with the pAMβ1-bearing Lactococcus lactis as donor and Ent. faecalis as recipient, a few transconjugants were detected from faecal Ent. faecalis. However, when these mice were given erythromycin through drinking water, a large number of conjugated Ent. faecalis were detected in faeces. Plasmid transfer to Ent. faecalis occurred at high frequency, 1.2 × 103, in mice whose anus was artificially closed after gastric intubation with pAMβ1-bearing Lactococcus lactis. These results demonstrate clearly that pAMβ1 transfer occurs between Gram-positive bacteria in the gut of mice harbouring many species of bacteria.

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