R-plasmid transfer in vivo: A prospective study

D. J. Platt, J. S. Chesham, K. G. Kristinsson

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17 Citations (Scopus)


Two hundred and eighty-seven coliform bacteria were isolated from 116 rectal swabs or faecal specimens obtained from 113 patients. By means of plasmid analysis and resistance transfer (R-transfer) Escherichia coli was found to differ from other enteric genera in plasmid distribution. Criteria were proposed that enabled in-vivo 'R-transfer potential' and in-vivo 'R-transfer rate' to be calculated. From each of 22 of the 113 patients numerous coliforms were isolated, of which at least one per patient contained one or more self-transmissible R-plasmids potentially transferable to 43 other coliforms. Evidence indicated that R-plasmid transfer had occurred in vivo on two of the 43 potential occasions. These results are discussed in the context of plasmid ecology in the human host.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-330
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Medical Microbiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1986


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