Skip to main content
Log in

Class 1 Integrons, Gene Cassettes, Mobility, and Epidemiology

  • Review
  • Published:
European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

 Integrons are genetic elements that, although unable to move themselves, contain gene cassettes that can be mobilized to other integrons or to secondary sites in the bacterial genome. The majority of approximately 60 known gene cassettes encode resistance to antibiotics. Recently, a number of gene cassettes encoding extended-spectrum β-lactamases or carbapenemases have been described. Up to at least five cassettes may be present in an integron, which leads to multiresistance. Frequently, more than one integron is observed within the same bacterial cell. Integrons are widespread in their species distribution. Although integrons are normally reported from Enterobacteriaceae and other gram-negative bacteria, an integron has been described in Corynebacterium glutamicum, a gram-positive species. The gene cassette in this integron showed even higher expression when compared to the expression in Escherichia coli. Integrons have been reported from all continents and are found frequently. The widespread occurrence of integrons is thought to be due to their association with transposon plasmids, conjugative plasmids, or both. Integrons form an important source for the spread of antibiotic resistance, at least in gram-negative bacteria but also potentially in gram-positive bacteria. The aim of this review is to describe the versatility of integrons, especially their mobility and their ability to collect resistance genes.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Fluit, A., Schmitz, F. Class 1 Integrons, Gene Cassettes, Mobility, and Epidemiology. EJCMID 18, 761–770 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1007/s100960050398

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s100960050398

Keywords

Navigation