Nigerian Journal of Biotechnology

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Plasmid Conjugation in E. coli and Drug Resistance

JC Igwe, JA Onaolapo, EO Dauda, HO Oladipo


The emergence of multidrug resistance in clinical Escherichia coli has been associated significantly with plasmid mediated genes in carriers; which is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in developing countries. This study aimed at determining the antibiotics susceptibility pattern of E. coli isolates claimed to be multidrug resistance using disc diffusion method. It also determined the presence of transferable resistance plasmids through conjugation and evaluated the medical significance of plasmid encoding E. coli and drug resistance. The result showed that majority of the multidrug resistance in clinical microorganism was as a result of the acquisition of plasmid-carrying antibiotic-resistance genes, acquired through conjugal transfer of plasmids which has greatly contributed to the rapid spread of antibiotic resistance among E. coli isolates which could lead to complication in therapy and limit treatment options, increase in mortality rate, high economic burden and longer hospital stays. To cub this, it is imperative to checkmate the rate at which over the counter drugs are sold and antibiotic misused in animal feeds. This will play a key role in decreasing the emergence of resistant bacteria strains within our environment.

Key words: E. coli, conjugation, transconjugation, plasmid, multidrug resistance

AJOL African Journals Online