The present study investigates the occurrence of R-plasmid in Salmonella typhi isolates from enteric fever cases in and around Kolkata (1991-2001), India following in vitro conjugation experiments, isolation of plasmid DNAs and agarose gel electrophoretic analysis. The multidrug resistant (MDR) S. typhi strains contained a transferable plasmid conferring resistance to ampicillin, chloramphenicol, cotrimoxazole and tetracycline. The plasmid encoding ACCoT-resistance of Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Proteus vulgaris were conjugative and co-migrated with the plasmid of MDR S. typhi isolates. The antibiotic sensitive S. typhi isolates did not contain any plasmid. Thus the findings of the present study confirmed the instability of the R-plasmid in S. typhi, and that the antibiotic sensitive S. typhi strains acquired the R-plasmid from other enteric bacteria such as E. coli, K. pneumoniae and P.vulgaris to undergo a suitable adaptation for survival in the changing antibiotic environment
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