Relationship of OqxAB efflux pump to antibiotic resistance, mainly fluoroquinolones in Klebsiella pneumoniae, isolated from hospitalized patients

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran

2 Infectious Disease Research Center, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran


Objective(s): This research was designed to study the prevalence of OqxAB efflux pump genes and also to investigate the relationship between efflux pump and resistance to antibiotics, especially to fluoroquinolones, evaluate the expression levels of OqxAB genes, and molecular typing of Klebsiella pneumoniae isolated from hospitalized patients in Hamadan hospitals, west of Iran.
Materials and Methods: In a cross-sectional study, 100 clinical strains of K. pneumoniae were isolated from hospitalized patients in three major teaching hospitals from January to June 2021. The antibiotic susceptibility of isolates was evaluated by the disk-diffusion agar method. The frequency of genes encoding oqxA and oqxB of efflux pump genes was investigated by PCR, and the expression of the oqxA efflux pump gene was investigated by the Real-time PCR method. The genetic relationship of K. pneumoniae isolates was analyzed by the Enterobacterial Repetitive Intergenic Consensus (ERIC)-PCR technique.
Results: According to our results, the multi-drug resistance phenotype (MDR) in 65% and high prevalence resistance to ciprofloxacin in 89% of K. pneumoniae isolates was detected. The higher prevalence of oqxA (95%) and oqxB (98%) was also detected. There was a significant relationship between ciprofloxacin resistance and the oqxB gene as well as between ceftriaxone and chloramphenicol resistance and the oqxA gene. The expression of the oqxA gene was higher in ciprofloxacin-resistant isolates.
Conclusion: The results of this study suggest a potential reservoir for the spread of OqxAB genes among hospital-acquired bacteria. Infection control strategies should be used prudently to reduce the spread of resistant strains of K. pneumoniae in hospitals.


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