A toxin-antitoxin (TA) system is a set of two or more closely linked genes that are encoded as a poison and a corresponding antidote on
a protein. In typical bacterial physiology, an antitoxin binds to a toxin and neutralizes it, which prevents the bacterium from killing itself.
We aimed to determine whether P.aeruginosa
isolates have TA genes and to investigate whether there is a relationship
between the expression levels of TA genes and resistance to antibiotics.
This study included 92 P. aeruginosa
and 148 Staphylococcus
isolates. RelBE, higBA genes were investigated in P.aeruginosa
polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The mazEF gene and the all TA genes expression were detected by real time PCR.
RelBE and higBA genes were detected in 100% of P. aeruginosa
. It was found that the level of relBE TA gene expression is increased
in isolates sensitive to aztreonam compared to resistant isolates (p<0.05).The mazEF gene was detected in 89.1% of Staphylococcus
isolates. In terms of MazEF gene expression level there was no significant difference between methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus
(MSSA) and methicillin-resistant S. aureus
(MRSA) isolates (p>0.05) whereas there was a significant difference between MSSA and
(CNS) isolates, MRSA and CNS isolates (p<0.05). The levels of mazEF gene expression were found
to be higher in isolates sensitive to gentamicin, ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, clindamycin, phosphomycine, nitrofurantoin, fusidic acid,
cefoxitin compared to resistant isolates (p<0.05).
Studies on the prevalence and functionality of TA systems emphasize that it may be possible to have new sensitive regions in bacteria
by activating TA systems. The results of this study lead to the idea that resistance to antibiotics can be reduced by increasing TA gene
expression levels. But there is need for further studies to support and develop this issue.