Abstract

Bacteria from the genus Flavobacteriaceae often show low susceptibility to antibiotics. With the exception of two Chryseobacterium spp. isolates that were positive for the florfenicol resistance gene floR, no clinical resistance genes were identified by microarray in 36 Flavobacteriaceae isolates from salmonid fish that could grow in ≥ 4 mg/L florfenicol. Whole genome sequence analysis of the floR positive isolates revealed the presence of a region that contained the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) genes floR, a tet(X) tetracycline resistance gene, a streptothricin resistance gene and a chloramphenicol acetyltransferase gene. In silico analysis of 377 published genomes for Flavobacteriaceae isolates from a range of sources, confirmed that well-characterized resistance gene cassettes were not widely distributed in bacteria from this group. Efflux pump-mediated decreased susceptibility to a range of antimicrobials was confirmed in both floR positive isolates using an efflux pump inhibitor (phenylalanine-arginine β-naphthylamide) assay. The floR isolates possessed putative virulence factors, including production of siderophores and, haemolysins, and were mildly pathogenic in rainbow trout. Results support the suggestion that, despite the detection of floR, susceptibility to antimicrobials in Flavobacteriaceae is mostly mediated via intrinsic mechanisms rather than the horizontally acquired resistance genes more normally associated with Gram-negative bacterial pathogens such as Enterobacteriaceae.

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