High prevalence of qnrVC variants in Vibrio spp. isolated from food samples in South China

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Original languageEnglish
Article number127261
Journal / PublicationMicrobiological Research
Online published17 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


Phenotypic resistance to fluoroquinolones due to mutational changes in the gyrA and parC genes is common among clinical Vibrio strains; the plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance (PMQR) qnrVC genes were also suggested to play a role in enhancing resistance development. This study investigated the prevalence of qnrVC genes in foodborne Vibrio strains collected in Shenzhen, China, during the period August 2015 and April 2017. A total of 1811 foodborne Vibrio strains were collected, mostly (73.8%) from shrimp samples and 20.2% of these strains were resistant to ciprofloxacin. Investigation of resistance mechanisms showed that mutations in the gyrA and parC genes were commonly associated with ciprofloxacin resistance. The presence of qnrVC genes was shown to enhance ciprofloxacin MIC in Vibrio strains and 69.7% of Vibrio strains that harbored target mutations also carried qnrVC genes, yet only 27.5% of the isolates not harboring such mutations carried the qnrVC genes. A total of 141 strains were found to carry the qnrVC alleles, with qnrVC5 and qnrVC1 being the most common types. Fourteen qnrVC variant genes that contained novel mutations were detectable, with 12 (85.7%) involving qnrVC5-like alleles. For the first time, we found a variant that was likely formed by the recombination of qnrVC1 and qnrVC5. The genetic context of the qnrVC genes found in this study was highly variable, with most being accompanied by mobile genetic elements and other resistance genes. The increasing prevalence of qnrVC genes in Vibrio and its contribution on mediating the development of ciprofloxacin resistance need to be further investigated.

Research Area(s)

  • Fluoroquinolone resistance, Hybrid QnrVC protein, Novel variants, QnrVC, Vibrio spp.