Genome characteristics of the optrA-positive Clostridium perfringens strain QHY-2 carrying a novel plasmid type

Ke Wu, Zhe Li, Mingjin Fang, Yuan Yuan, Edward M. Fox, Yingqiu Liu, Ruichao Li, Li Bai, Wen Zhang, Wei-Min Zhang, Qi Yang, Lingling Chang, Pu Li, Xinglong Wang, Juan Wang*, Zengqi Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Clostridium perfringens is a bacterial species of importance to both public and animal health. The gene optrA is the first gene that confers resistance to the tedizolid, a last-resort antimicrobial agent in human medicine. Herein, we whole-genome sequenced and analyzed one optrA -positive C. perfringens strain QHY-2 from Tibetan sheep in Qinghai province and identified one optrA plasmid pQHY-2. The plasmid shared similar structure with the optrA -positive plasmids p2C45 and p21-D-5b previously identified in C. perfringens , demonstrating the potential horizontal transmission of the optrA plasmids among C. perfringens strains. Annotation of the optrA -positive plasmids showed optrA and erm (A) located on a segment flanked by IS element IS 1216E , and fexA , optrA, and erm (A) located on a segment flanked by IS element IS Vlu1 , which revealed the possible dissemination mechanism. Additionally, a Tn 6218 -like transposon carrying aac(6′)-aph(2″ ) and erm (B) was also detected on pQHY-2, demonstrating the transposition of Tn 6218 and spread of antibiotic resistance among Clostridium bacteria. Molecular analysis indicated the optrA -positive plasmids belonged to a plasmid type distinct from the pCW3-like plasmids, pCP13-like plasmids, or pIP404-like plasmids. Further structure analysis showed they might be formed by inserting segments into plasmid pCPCPI53k-r1_1, which coexist with two pCW3-like plasmids and one pCP13-like plasmid in C. perfringens strain CPI 53k-r1 isolated from a healthy human in Finland. IMPORTANCE Antimicrobial resistance is now a global concern posing threats to food safety and public health. The pCW3-like plasmids can encode several main toxin genes and three antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs), including tetA (P), tetB (P), and erm (B), which used to be considered as the main carrier of ARGs in Clostridium perfringens . In this study, we found the optrA plasmids, which belonged to a novel plasmid type, could also harbor many other ARGs, indicating this type of plasmid might be the potential repository of ARGs in C. perfringens . Additionally, this type of plasmid could coexist with the pCW3-like plasmids and pCP13-like plasmids that encoded toxin genes associated with gastrointestinal diseases, which showed the potential threat to public health.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00535-23
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Issue number4
Early online date17 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2023

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