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Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) plays a key role in the evolution of bacterial pathogens. The exchange of genetic material supplies prokaryotes with several fitness traits enhancing their adaptive response to environmental changes. Pathogenicity islands (PAIs) represent an important and in most cases already immobilized subset of the different vehicles for HGT. Encoding several virulence factors PAIs represent a major contribution to bacterial pathogenicity. Nonetheless, the transfer mechanisms of PAIs still remain elusive. We summarise the currently available data regarding the major ways of genetic mobilisation with a focus on the transfer of the Yersinia High-Pathogenicity Island (HPI).

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Despite concerted efforts, diagnosis of aspergillosis is still a great challenge to clinical microbiology laboratories. Along with the requirement for high sensitivity and specificity, species-specific identification is important. We developed rapid, sensitive and species-specific qPCR assays using the TaqMan technology for the detection and identification of Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus terreus. The assays were designed to target orthologs of the Streptomyces factor C gene that are only found in a few species of filamentous fungi. Fungi acquired this gene through horizontal gene transfer and divergence of the gene allows identification of species. The assays have potential as a molecular diagnosis tool for the early detection of fungal infection caused by Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus terreus, which merits future diagnostic studies. The assays were sensitive enough to detect a few genomic equivalents in blood samples.

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The aim of the present study was to investigate, for the first time, the diversity of the genes encoding aminoglycoside-modifying enzymes (AME) and their association with class 1 integrons in Iranian Acinetobacter baumannii strains.A total of 100 multidrug resistant A. baumannii, isolated from eight distinct hospitals in Tehran, were enrolled in this study. Susceptibility of these isolates to antimicrobial agents including gentamicin and amikacin was determined by E-test. Aminoglycoside resistant isolates were then tested by PCR for AME genes, including aphA6, aacC1, aacC2, aacA4, aadB, aadA1, classes 1 integron, 5′-CS-3′ and typed by RAPD PCR.The rate of resistance to imipenem, meropenem, gentamicin and amikacin were 39%, 39%, 38% and 32%, respectively. Intermediate resistance phenotype to gentamicin and amikacin was observed in 2% and 5% of all the isolates, respectively. After aph6 with 90% (n = 36/40), aadA1, aacC1 and aadB with 82.5% (n = 33/40), 65% (n = 26/40) and 20% (n = 8/40) were the most prevalent AME genes among aminoglycosides resistant A. baumannii isolates. A combination of two to four different resistance genes was observed in 39 of 40 strains (97.5%), with a total of 7 different combinations. PCR of integrase genes revealed that AME gene was associated with 67% of class 1 integrons. RAPD analysis showed three predominant genotypes A (n = 20), B (n = 10) and 10 unrelated genotypes.The occurrence of identical resistance genes, gene combinations and class 1 integrons associated with these genes in clonally distinct strains indicates that horizontal gene transfer plays a major role in the dissemination of aminoglycoside resistance in A. baumannii.

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-level aminoglycoside resistance (HLAR) is established by 16S rRNA methylases, which are usually encoded on plasmids. Moreover, these genes can be simply transferred among Gram-negative bacilli populations especially in hospital setting through the horizontal gene-transfer

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Soil Sci. 69 215 232 DRÖGE, M., PÜHLER, A. & SELBITCHKA, W., 1998. Horizontal gene transfer as a bio

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377 Liu, H., Fu, Y., Li, B., Yu, X., Xie, J., Cheng, J., Ghabrial, S.A., Li, G., Yi, X., Jiang, D.: Widespread horizontal gene transfer from circular single-stranded DNA viruses to eukaryotic

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347 348 Hontzeas, N., Richardson, A. O., Belimov, A. A., Safranova, V. I., Abu-Omar, M. M., Glick, B. R.: Evidence for horizontal gene transfer (HGT) of ACC deaminase genes

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agriculture, forestry and medicine 191 212 Rosewich, U. L., Kistler, H. C.: Role of horizontal gene transfer in the evolution of fungi. Annu. Rev

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. Soucy SM , Huang J , Gogarten JP : Horizontal gene transfer: building the web of life . Nat Rev Genetics 16 , 472 – 482 ( 2015 ) 14

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der Reijden L. Dijkshoorn J. Iredell 2007 Horizontal gene transfer in a polyclonal outbreak of carbapenem

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