African Journal of
Microbiology Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Microbiol. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0808
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJMR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 5211


Role of integrons in antimicrobial resistance: A review

Guangchao Yu1#, Yanmei Li2#*, Xiaochen Liu3, Xihong Zhao3,4,5* and Yanyan Li6
1First Affiliated Hospital of Jinan University, Guangzhou 510620, China. 2Guangzhou Women and Children’s Medical Center, Guangzhou 510623, China. 3College of Light Industry and Food Sciences, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, China. 4Key Laboratory for Green Chemical Process of Ministry of Education, School of Chemical Engineering and Pharmacy, Wuhan Institute of Technology, Wuhan 430073, China. 5Department of Food Science and Biotechnology and Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Gangwon 200-701, South Korea. 6State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, China.
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 07 February 2013
  •  Published: 09 April 2013


Antibiotic resistance in bacteria still remains one of the leading concerns in global public health. Horizontal transfer of resistance genes is considered to be a major cause to facilitate the rapid spread of antibiotic resistance in microbes. In recent years, the role of integrons as mobile genetic elements playing a central role in horizontal transfer of antibiotic resistance have been well studied and documented. Nevertheless, up to date, most of the available investigations and studies on integron had focused on class 1 integrons of Gram-negative microorganisms. In the last decade, class 4 integrons (also known as super integrons) has been considered a major concern in antimicrobial resistance, as well as, a significant factor in bacterial genome evolution; however, most reports had been limited to Vibrio. Thus, this review is aimed at summarizing the occurrence and prevalence of integrons in bacterial isolates, with the focus on class 1 integron within Gram-positive bacteria, class 2 and 3 integrons.


Key words: Antibiotic resistance, mobile genetic element, Class 1 integron, Class 2 integron, Class 3 integron, Gram-positive bacteria.