Most Helicobacter pylori strains are susceptible to tetracycline, an antibiotic commonly used for the eradication of H. pylori. However, an increase in incidence of tetracycline resistance in H. pylori has recently been reported. Here the mechanism of tetracycline resistance of the first Dutch tetracycline-resistant (Tet(r)) H. pylori isolate (strain 181) is investigated. Twelve genes were selected from the genome sequences of H. pylori strains 26695 and J99 as potential candidate genes, based on their homology with tetracycline resistance genes in other bacteria. With the exception of the two 16S rRNA genes, none of the other putative tetracycline resistance genes was able to transfer tetracycline resistance. Genetic transformation of the Tet(s) strain 26695 with smaller overlapping PCR fragments of the 16S rRNA genes of strain 181, revealed that a 361-bp fragment that spanned nucleotides 711 to 1071 was sufficient to transfer resistance. Sequence analysis of the 16S rRNA genes of the Tet(r) strain 181, the Tet(s) strain 26695, and four Tet(r) 26695 transformants showed that a single triple-base-pair substitution, AGA(926-928)-->TTC, was present within this 361-bp fragment. This triple-base-pair substitution, present in both copies of the 16S rRNA gene of all our Tet(r) H. pylori transformants, resulted in an increased MIC of tetracycline that was identical to that for the Tet(r) strain 181.

Aged, Amino Acid Substitution/genetics, Binding Sites, Helicobacter Infections/microbiology, Helicobacter pylori/drug effects/*genetics, Humans, Male, Mutation/*genetics, RNA, Ribosomal, 16S/*genetics, Repressor Proteins/genetics, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction, Tetracycline Resistance/*genetics, Transformation, Bacterial
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Gerrits, M.M, de Zoete, M.R, Arents, N.L.A, Kuipers, E.J, & Kusters, J.G. (2002). 16S rRNA mutation-mediated tetracycline resistance in Helicobacter pylori. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. Retrieved from