Background: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global threat driven mainly by horizontal gene transfer (HGT) mechanisms through mobile genetic elements (MGEs) including integrons. The variable region (VR) of an integron can acquire or excise gene cassettes (GCs) that confer resistance to antibiotics based on the selection pressure. Escherichia coli plays a significant role in the genetic transfer of resistance determinants to other Gram-negative bacteria. Current study is aimed to detect and compare integron-mediated resistance in clinical isolates of E. coli. Unique isolates of E. coli from urine or blood cultures were studied for their antimicrobial resistance patterns and integrons were detected using polymerase chain reaction assays followed by Sanger sequencing of GCs. Results: During the study period, a total of 470 E. coli isolates were obtained, 361 (76.8%) from urinary and 109 (23.1%) from bacteremic sources. Class 1 integrons were detected in 66 (18.2%) and 26 (23.8%) isolates respectively. Urinary isolates of E. coli harbouring Class 1 integrons demonstrated significantly higher rates of resistance (p < 0.05) for most antibiotics (12/16, 75%) compared to integron negative isolates. Although not statistically significant, similar differences were observed in bacteremic isolates. Among the urinary isolates, 27 (40.9%) had a VR, in which the most common GC array detected was DfrA17-AadA5 (n = 14), followed by DfrA5 (n = 4) and DfrA12 (n = 3). Among bacteremic isolates, only 4 (15.3%) had a VR, all of which were carrying DfrA17. The detected GC array correlated with the respective isolates’ phenotypic resistance patterns. Conclusion: We found a strong correlation between integron positivity and trimethoprim resistance among E. coli from urinary sources. Although higher rates of resistance were observed in bacteremic isolates, they mostly carried empty integrons.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102
JournalBMC Microbiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12-2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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