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Novel mutations in quinolone resistance-determining regions of gyrA, gyrB, parC and parE in Shigella flexneri clinical isolates from eastern Chinese populations between 2001 and 2011


The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of fluoroquinolone resistance and mechanisms of selected fluoroquinolone resistance in Shigella flexneri isolates. A total of 624 S. flexneri strains isolated between 2001 and 2011 in Jiangsu Province of China were analysed for their fluoroquinolone susceptibility. The quinolone resistance-determining region of gyrA, gyrB, parC and parE were amplified and sequenced. In general, 90.5 % of S. flexneri exhibited resistance to nalidixic acid. The mean norfloxacin resistance rate was 22.4 % during the 11 years from 2001 to 2011 (6.4 % from 2001 to 2005 and 36.8 % from 2006 to 2011). Sequencing of gyrA, gyrB, parC and parE genes of all S. flexneri isolates showed that the mutation rate was as high as 93.9 %. In addition, 91.8 % and 92.3 % of S. flexneri harboured mutations in gyrA and parC, respectively. About 35.2 % of S. flexneri isolates susceptible to nalidixic acid contained mutations. Meanwhile, mutations were detected in 91.2 % of norfloxacin-susceptible strains, and almost all S. flexneri isolates resistant to fluoroquinolone contained mutations. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study reporting the occurrence of point mutations Asn57Lys and His80Pro in gyrA and Ala85Thr, Asp111His and Ser129Pro in parC. Emerging fluoroquinolone resistance with a significantly high mutation rate of the gyrA and parC genes in S. flexneri in Jiangsu Province deserves attention, and monitoring antibiotic susceptibility is important for the effective management of S. flexneri infections.

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We thank all our colleagues who participated in this survey.

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Correspondence to P. Ma or B. Gu.

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This work was supported by the Chinese National Natural Science Foundation of China (81471994), the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK20151154) and the Youth Science and Technology Innovation Team Project of Xuzhou Medical University in 2015.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Qin, T., Bi, R., Fan, W. et al. Novel mutations in quinolone resistance-determining regions of gyrA, gyrB, parC and parE in Shigella flexneri clinical isolates from eastern Chinese populations between 2001 and 2011. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 35, 2037–2045 (2016).

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  • Fluoroquinolone
  • Jiangsu Province
  • Norfloxacin
  • Nalidixic Acid
  • Resistance Rate