Enterococcal linear plasmids adapt to Enterococcus faecium and spread within multidrug-resistant clades [article]

Yusuke Hashimoto, Masato Suzuki, Sae Kobayashi, Yuki Hirahara, Takahiro Nomura, Jun Kurushima, Hidetada Hirakawa, Koichi Tanimoto, Haruyoshi Tomita
2022 bioRxiv   pre-print
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) of bacterial pathogens, including enterococci, is a global concern, and plasmids are crucial for spreading and maintaining AMR genes. Plasmids with linear topology were recently identified in clinical multidrug-resistant enterococci. The enterococcal linear-form plasmids, such as pELF1, confer resistance to clinically important antimicrobials, including vancomycin; however, little information exists about their epidemiological and physiological effects. In this
more » ... dy, we identified several lineages of enterococcal linear plasmids that are structurally conserved and occur globally. pELF1-like linear plasmids show plasticity in acquiring and maintaining AMR genes, often via transposition with the mobile genetic element IS1216E. This linear plasmid family has several characteristics enabling long-term persistence in the bacterial population, including high horizontal self-transmissibility, low-level transcription of plasmid-encoded genes, and a moderate effect on the Enterococcus faecium genome alleviating fitness cost and promoting vertical inheritance. Combined with its broad host range, the linear plasmid is an important factor in the spread and maintenance of AMR genes among enterococci.
doi:10.1101/2022.09.07.506885 fatcat:o5yljm7rivehholutv2kpudbpa