Objective: Quinolone resistance is usually caused by various chromosomal mutations, but has been more recently associated with plasmids which carry the qnr determinant. The aim of this study is to investigate the prevalence of qnr genes in clinical isolates of Enterobacteriaceae in Jamaica.
Methods: A total of 255 non-duplicate fluoroquinolone-resistant Enterobacteriaceae clinical isolates, comprising 232 Escherichia coli, 20 Klebsiella species and three Enterobacter spp were collected between October 2007 and November 2008 from hospitalized patients in Jamaica.
The presence of the qnr gene was screened by PCR using specific primers for qnrA, qnrB and qnrS in extracted plasmid DNA.
Results: Eighty-three (32.5%) of these isolates were qnr-positive, of which 47.0% housed the qnrA gene only, 1.2% qnrB and 9.6% qnrS only. Another 36.1% possessed both qnrA and qnrS genes. Approximately 30% of the quinolone-resistant E coli isolates harboured the qnr gene while 50% Klebsiella spp and all Enterobacter spp were positive.
Conclusion: The emergence of qnr-mediated quinolone resistance among clinical Enterobacteriaceae isolates is described for the first time in Jamaica.