Research Article

Drug resistance in Chromobacterium violaceum

Abstract

Chromobacterium violaceum is a free-living bacterium commonly found in aquatic habitats of tropical and subtropical regions of the world. This bacterium is able to produce a large variety of products of biotechnological and pharmacological use. Although C. violaceum is considered to be non-pathogenic, some cases of severe infections in humans and other animals have been reported. Genomic data on the type strain ATCC 12472T has provided a comprehensive basis for detailed studies of pathogenicity, virulence and drug resistance genes. A large number of open reading frames associated with various mechanisms of drug resistance were found, comprising a remarkable feature of this organism. Amongst these, beta-lactam (penicillin and cephalosporin) and multidrug resistance genes (drug efflux pumps) were the most numerous. In addition, genes associated with bacitracin, bicyclomycin, chloramphenicol, kasugamycin, and methylenomycin were also found. It is postulated that these genes contribute to the ability of C. violaceum to compete with other bacteria in the environment, and also may help to explain the common drug resistance phenotypes observed in infections caused by this bacterium.

Chromobacterium violaceum is a free-living bacterium commonly found in aquatic habitats of tropical and subtropical regions of the world. This bacterium is able to produce a large variety of products of biotechnological and pharmacological use. Although C. violaceum is considered to be non-pathogenic, some cases of severe infections in humans and other animals have been reported. Genomic data on the type strain ATCC 12472T has provided a comprehensive basis for detailed studies of pathogenicity, virulence and drug resistance genes. A large number of open reading frames associated with various mechanisms of drug resistance were found, comprising a remarkable feature of this organism. Amongst these, beta-lactam (penicillin and cephalosporin) and multidrug resistance genes (drug efflux pumps) were the most numerous. In addition, genes associated with bacitracin, bicyclomycin, chloramphenicol, kasugamycin, and methylenomycin were also found. It is postulated that these genes contribute to the ability of C. violaceum to compete with other bacteria in the environment, and also may help to explain the common drug resistance phenotypes observed in infections caused by this bacterium.

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