. The prevalence of trimethoprim resistance in enterobacterial urinary pathogens from hospitalised patients in the Angus district of northern Scotland (22.8%) was twice that found in similar isolates from patients attending general practitioners (11.2%). Thirty-three of the 143 trimethoprim-resistant strains were shown to harbour transferable plasmids conferring high-level trimethoprim resistance. In total, 17 different plasmid types were distinguished. Two plasmids, pUK1184 and pUK1185, accounted for 36% of the trimethoprim resistance plasmids and were shown by restriction endonuclease digestion fingerprints to be closely related to plasmid pUK28, previously demonstrated to be endemic in urinary pathogens in the Edinburgh area. Only 21% of the plasmids were shown to encode the type Ia trimethoprim-resistant dihydrofolate reductase, whereas 70% of the trimethoprim resistance plasmids were found to encode the type Ib dihydrofolate reductase. Hybridisation of the trimethoprim resistance plasmids identified in this study with gene probes specific for the integrase genes of transposons Tn7 and Tn indicates that the is rarely present within Tn or related transposons in these plasmids and may be more prevalent within Tn-like transposons. In contrast, with the exception of the two endemic plasmids that harboured the gene within a Tn-like transposon, the majority of genes were not found to be associated with either Tn- or Tn-like structures.


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