Genetic analysis of virulence and antimicrobial-resistant plasmid pOU7519 in Salmonella enterica serovar Choleraesuis


Chen CL, Su LH, Janapatla RP, Lin CY, Chiu CH



Zoonotic Salmonella enterica serovar Choleraesuis (S. Choleraesuis), causing paratyphoid in pigs and bacteremia in humans, commonly carry a virulence plasmid and sometimes a separate antimicrobial-resistant plasmid or merging together. This study aimed to analyze the likely mechanism of how to form a virulence-resistance chimera of plasmid in S. Choleraesuis.


Whole plasmid sequence of pOU7519 in S. Choleraesuis strain OU7519 was determined using shotgun cloning and sequencing. Sequence annotation and comparison were performed to determine the sequence responsible for the formation of a chimeric virulence-resistance pOU7519. Other chimeric plasmids among the collected strains of S. Choleraesuis were also confirmed.


The sequence of pOU719, 127,212 bp long, was identified to be a chimera of the virulence plasmid pSCV50 and a multidrug-resistant plasmid pSC138 that have been found in S. Choleraesuis strain SC-B67. The pOU7519 is a conjugative plasmid carrying various mobile DNAs, including prophages, insertion sequences, integrons and transposons, especially a Tn6088-like transposon. By dissecting the junction site of the pSCV50-pSC138 chimera in pOU7519, defective sequences at integrase gene scv50 (int) and its attachment site (att) were found, and that likely resulted in a stable chimera plasmid due to the failure of excision from the pSCV50-pSC138 chimera. Similar structure of chimera was also found in other large plasmids.


The deletion of both the int and att sties could likely block chimera excision, and result in an irreversible, stable pSCV50-pSC138 chimera. The emergence of conjugative virulence and antimicrobial-resistant plasmids in S. Choleraesuis could pose a threat to health public.

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