Author(s): Fluit AC
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Abstract Salmonella are well-known pathogens. Virulence determinants can be present on the chromosome, usually encoded on pathogenicity islands, or on plasmids and bacteriophages. Antibiotic resistance determinants usually are encoded on plasmids, but can also be present on the multidrug resistance region of Salmonella Genomic Island 1 (SGI1). Virulence plasmids show a remarkable diversity in the combination of virulence factors they encode, which appears to adapt them to specific hosts and the ability to cause gastroenteritidis or systemic disease. The appearance of plasmids with two replicons may help to extend the host range of these plasmids and thereby increase the virulence of previously non- or low pathogenic serovars. Antibiotic resistance among Salmonella is also increasing. This increase is not only in the percentage isolates resistant to a particular antibiotic, but also the development of resistance against newer antibiotics. The increased occurrence of integrons is particularly worrying. Integrons can harbour a varying set of antibiotic resistance encoding gene cassettes. Gene cassettes can be exchanged between integrons. Although the gene cassettes currently present in Salmonella integrons encode for older antibiotics (however, some still frequently used) gene cassettes encoding resistance against the newest antibiotics has been documented in Enterobacteriaceae. Furthermore, beta-lactamases with activity against broad-spectrum cephalosporins, which are often used in empiric therapy, have been found associated with integrons. So, empiric treatment of Salmonella infections becomes increasingly more difficult. The most worrisome finding is that virulence and resistance plasmids form cointegrates. These newly formed plasmids can be selected by antibiotic pressure and thereby for virulence factors. Taken together these trends may lead to more virulent and antibiotic-resistant Salmonella.
This article was published in FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of Veterinary Science & Technology