Development and analysis of furazolidone-resistant Escherichia coli mutants

Sandra Martínez-Puchol, Cláudia Gomes, Maria J. Pons, Lidia Ruiz-Roldán, Alba Torrents de la Peña, Theresa J. Ochoa, Joaquim Ruiz

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11 Scopus citations


Furazolidone-resistant mutants were obtained from four clinical isolates of diarrhoeagenic Escherichia coli. The stability of the resistance and the frequency of mutation were established. The minimal inhibitory concentration of furazolidone, nitrofurantoin, nalidixic acid, ampicillin, chloramphenicol and tetracycline was established both in the presence and absence of the efflux pump inhibitor Phe-Arg-β-Naphtylamyde. The presence of mutations in the nitroreductase genes nfsA and nfsB was analysed by PCR; sequencing and their enzymatic activity was assessed by a spectrophotometric assay. Alterations in outer membrane proteins were studied by SDS-PAGE. The frequency of mutation ranged from <9.6 × 10-10 to 9.59 × 10-7. Neither an effect on efflux pumps inhibited by Phe-Arg-β-Naphtylamyde nor cross-resistance with the antibiotics studied was observed. Nineteen mutants (52.94%) presented mutations in the nitroreductase-encoding genes: 17 in the nfsA gene (15 mutants with an internal stop codon, 2 with amino acid changes), 2 in the nfsB (all amino acid changes). Alterations in the outer membrane proteins OmpA and OmpW were also observed. Although more studies are necessary to find other resistance mechanisms, present data showed the low potential of selecting furazolidone-resistant mutants, together with the lack of cross-resistance with unrelated antimicrobial agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)676-681
Number of pages6
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2015


  • Enterobacteriaceae
  • Nitrofuran
  • Resistance mechanisms


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