Twenty-four gentamicin-resistant isolates of Enterobacteriaceae, obtained from the clinical laboratories of three health centres in Nablus, Palestine, were tested for susceptibility to neomycin, kanamycin, tobramycin and amikacin. Resistance rates were 29.2% for neomycin, 58.3% for kanamycin, 45.8% for tobramycin and 8.3% for amikacin. Fourteen (58.3%) isolates were noted to be multiresistant, i.e., resistant to gentamicin and two or more other aminoglycosides; resistance to gentamicin, kanamycin and tobramycin was the most common pattern of multiple resistance. This pattern implies the involvement of adenyltransferase ANT(2")-I activity. Plasmid profiles and curing experiments suggested a plasmid localisation of gentamicin, neomycin, kanamycin and tobramycin resistance genes. However, a chromosomal location is proposed for plasmid-deficient strains. Cross-resistance in two isolates to all aminoglycosides tested suggested membrane impermeability to aminoglycosides as the mechanism of resistance.


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