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1.  Characterization of a Novel Plasmid Type and Various Genetic Contexts of blaOXA-58 in Acinetobacter spp. from Multiple Cities in China 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e84680.
Several studies have described the epidemiological distribution of blaOXA-58-harboring Acinetobacter baumannii in China. However, there is limited data concerning the replicon types of blaOXA-58-carrying plasmids and the genetic context surrounding blaOXA-58 in Acinetobacter spp. in China.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Twelve non-duplicated blaOXA-58-harboring Acinetobacter spp. isolates were collected from six hospitals in five different cities between 2005 and 2010. The molecular epidemiology of the isolates was carried out using PFGE and multilocus sequence typing. Carbapenemase-encoding genes and plasmid replicase genes were identified by PCR. The genetic location of blaOXA-58 was analyzed using S1-nuclease method. Plasmid conjugation and electrotransformation were performed to evaluate the transferability of blaOXA-58-harboring plasmids. The genetic structure surrounding blaOXA-58 was determined by cloning experiments. The twelve isolates included two Acinetobacter pittii isolates (belong to one pulsotype), three Acinetobacter nosocomialis isolates (belong to two pulsotypes) and seven Acinetobacter baumannii isolates (belong to two pulsotypes/sequence types). A. baumannii ST91 was found to be a potential multidrug resistant risk clone carrying both blaOXA-58 and blaOXA-23. blaOXA-58 located on plasmids varied from ca. 52 kb to ca. 143 kb. All plasmids can be electrotransformed to A. baumannii recipient, but were untypeable by the current replicon typing scheme. A novel plasmid replicase named repAci10 was identified in blaOXA-58-harboring plasmids of two A. pittii isolates, three A. nosocomialis isolates and two A. baumannii isolates. Four kinds of genetic contexts of blaOXA-58 were identified. The transformants of plasmids with structure of IS6 family insertion sequence (ISOur1, IS1008 or IS15)-ΔISAba3-like element-blaOXA-58 displayed carbapenem nonsusceptible, while others with structure of intact ISAba3-like element-blaOXA-58 were carbapenem susceptible.
The study revealed the unique features of blaOXA-58-carrying plasmids in Acinetobacter spp. in China, which were different from that of Acinetobacter spp. found in European countries. The diversity of the genetic contexts of blaOXA-58 contributed to various antibiotics resistance profiles.
PMCID: PMC3882262  PMID: 24400107
2.  Molecular Epidemiology of Carbapenem-Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii Isolates in the Gulf Cooperation Council States: Dominance of OXA-23-Type Producers 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2015;53(3):896-903.
The molecular epidemiology and mechanisms of resistance of carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB) were determined in hospitals in the states of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC]), namely, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait. Isolates were subjected to PCR-based detection of antibiotic resistance genes and repetitive sequence-based PCR (rep-PCR) assessments of clonality. Selected isolates were subjected to multilocus sequence typing (MLST). We investigated 117 isolates resistant to carbapenem antibiotics (either imipenem or meropenem). All isolates were positive for OXA-51. The most common carbapenemases were the OXA-23-type, found in 107 isolates, followed by OXA-40-type (OXA-24-type), found in 5 isolates; 3 isolates carried the ISAba1 element upstream of blaOXA-51-type. No OXA-58-type, NDM-type, VIM-type, or IMP-type producers were detected. Multiple clones were detected with 16 clusters of clonally related CRAB. Some clusters involved hospitals in different states. MLST analysis of 15 representative isolates from different clusters identified seven different sequence types (ST195, ST208, ST229, ST436, ST450, ST452, and ST499), as well as three novel STs. The vast majority (84%) of the isolates in this study were associated with health care exposure. Awareness of multidrug-resistant organisms in GCC states has important implications for optimizing infection control practices; establishing antimicrobial stewardship programs within hospital, community, and agricultural settings; and emphasizing the need for establishing regional active surveillance systems. This will help to control the spread of CRAB in the Middle East and in hospitals accommodating transferred patients from this region.
PMCID: PMC4390656  PMID: 25568439
3.  Epidemic Diffusion of OXA-23-Producing Acinetobacter baumannii Isolates in Italy: Results of the First Cross-Sectional Countrywide Survey 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2014;52(8):3004-3010.
Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAb) is emerging worldwide as a public health problem in various settings. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of CRAb isolates in Italy and to characterize their resistance mechanisms and genetic relatedness. A countrywide cross-sectional survey was carried out at 25 centers in mid-2011. CRAb isolates were reported from all participating centers, with overall proportions of 45.7% and 22.2% among consecutive nonreplicate clinical isolates of A. baumannii from inpatients (n = 508) and outpatients (n = 63), respectively. Most of them were resistant to multiple antibiotics, whereas all remained susceptible to colistin, with MIC50 and MIC90 values of ≤0.5 mg/liter. The genes coding for carbapenemase production were identified by PCR and sequencing. OXA-23 enzymes (found in all centers) were by far the most common carbapenemases (81.7%), followed by OXA-58 oxacillinases (4.5%), which were found in 7 of the 25 centers. In 6 cases, CRAb isolates carried both blaOXA-23-like and blaOXA-58-like genes. A repetitive extragenic palindromic (REP)-PCR technique, multiplex PCRs for group identification, and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) were used to determine the genetic relationships among representative isolates (n = 55). Two different clonal lineages were identified, including a dominant clone of sequence type 2 (ST2) related to the international clone II (sequence group 1 [SG1], SG4, and SG5) and a clone of ST78 (SG6) previously described in Italy. Overall, our results demonstrate that OXA-23 enzymes have become the most prevalent carbapenemases and are now endemic in Italy. In addition, molecular typing profiles showed the presence of international and national clonal lineages in Italy.
PMCID: PMC4136168  PMID: 24920776
4.  Molecular Analysis of Acinetobacter baumannii Strains Isolated in Lebanon Using Four Different Typing Methods 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e115969.
This study analyzed 42 Acinetobacter baumannii strains collected between 2009–2012 from different hospitals in Beyrouth and North Lebanon to better understand the epidemiology and carbapenem resistance mechanisms in our collection and to compare the robustness of pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), multilocus sequence typing (MLST), repetitive sequence-based PCR (rep-PCR) and blaOXA-51 sequence-based typing (SBT). Among 31 carbapenem resistant strains, we have detected three carbapenem resistance genes: 28 carried the blaOXA-23 gene, 1 the blaOXA-24 gene and 2 strains the blaOXA-58 gene. This is the first detection of blaOXA-23 and blaOXA-24 in Lebanon. PFGE identified 11 types and was the most discriminating technique followed by rep-PCR (9 types), blaOXA-51 SBT (8 types) and MLST (7 types). The PFGE type A'/ST2 was the dominant genotype in our collection present in Beyrouth and North Lebanon. The clustering agreement between all techniques was measured by adjust Wallace coefficient. An overall agreement has been demonstrated. High values of adjust Wallace coefficient were found with followed combinations: PFGE to predict MLST types  = 100%, PFGE to predict blaOXA-51 SBT = 100%, blaOXA-51 SBT to predict MLST = 100%, MLST to predict blaOXA-51 SBT = 84.7%, rep-PCR to predict MLST = 81.5%, PFGE to predict rep-PCR = 69% and rep-PCR to predict blaOXA-51 SBT = 67.2%. PFGE and MLST are gold standard methods for outbreaks investigation and population structure studies respectively. Otherwise, these two techniques are technically, time and cost demanding. We recommend the use of blaOXA-51 SBT as first typing method to screen isolates and assign them to their corresponding clonal lineages. Repetitive sequence-based PCR is a rapid tool to access outbreaks but careful interpretation of results must be always performed.
PMCID: PMC4277430  PMID: 25541711
5.  Changing carbapenemase gene pattern in an epidemic multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii lineage causing multiple outbreaks in central Italy 
Infections caused by multidrug-resistant (MDR) Acinetobacter baumannii are a challenging problem worldwide. Here, the molecular epidemiology and the genetic basis of antibiotic resistance in 111 MDR A. baumannii strains isolated from June 2005 to March 2009 from infected patients in 10 intensive care units (ICUs) in central Italy were investigated.
Epidemiological typing was performed by random amplification of polymorphic DNA, PCR-based sequence grouping and macrorestriction analysis. MICs of antibiotics were determined by the broth microdilution method. Genes for OXA carbapenemases, metallo-β-lactamases and the CarO porin were searched for by PCR.
Molecular genotyping identified one predominant A. baumannii lineage, related to the international clonal lineage II, accounting for 95.6% of isolates. Isolates referable to this lineage were recovered from all ICUs surveyed and were resistant to nearly all classes of antimicrobials, with the exception of tigecycline and colistin. A high percentage (60.5%) of A. baumannii isolates showed elevated resistance to imipenem (MICs ≥ 128 mg/L), concomitant with resistance to meropenem. Carbapenem resistance was associated with the presence of either blaOXA-58-like (22.8%) or blaOXA-23-like (71.1%) carbapenemase genes. Molecular typing showed that the epidemic lineage encoding OXA-23 emerged in 2007 and displaced a genetically related clone encoding OXA-58 that had been responsible for previous ICU outbreaks in the same region.
Emergence of the OXA-23 epidemic lineage could result from selective advantage conferred by the blaOXA-23-like determinant, which provides increased resistance to carbapenems.
PMCID: PMC3031335  PMID: 21088019
genotyping; intensive care units; OXA-23
6.  Molecular Detection of Class-D OXA Carbapenemase Genes in Biofilm and Non-Biofilm Forming Clinical Isolates of Acinetobacter baumannii 
Emergence and spread of carbapenemase (blaOXA) genes in multidrug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (MDR-AB) forming biofilm complicated treatment of the patients infected with this microorganism particularly in intensive care units (ICUs).
The current study aimed to determine the prevalence of molecular class-D OXA carbapenemase in biofilm and non-biofilm forming strains of MDR-AB.
Materials and Methods:
A total of 65 strains of MDR-AB were isolated from the patients hospitalized in the ICU of two hospitals in Kerman, Iran. The isolates were identified by conventional microbiological tests as well as API 20NE assay. Antibiotic susceptibility was carried out by disk diffusion method; minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of carbapenems was measured by E-test. The presence of blaOXA genes among the isolates were studied by duplex-polymerase chain reaction and application of appropriate primers. Biofilm formation was detected by microtiter plate method.
The isolates were highly resistant to ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, piperacillin, nalidixic acid and third generation cephalosporins such as tigecycline (7%; n = 5) and colistin (13%; n = 8). Among the isolates, 77% (n = 50) exhibited high MIC (265μg/mL) for imipenem. Both the blaOXA-51 and blaOXA-23 like genes coexisted in all the isolates; while, blaOXA-24/40 like gene was only detected in 29 imipenem-resistant strains (P ≤ 0.05). The blaOXA-58 like gene was not detected among the isolated strains. Quantification of biofilm introduced 23 isolates (including blaOXA-24/40 strains) with efficient attachment to microtiter plate; while, those isolates without blaOXA-24/40, or imipenem-sensitive strains formed weak or no biofilm.
Coexistence of the blaOXA-51, blaOXA-23 and blaOXA-24/40 like genes, along with formation of strong biofilm, in MDR-AB strains particularly with indiscriminate use of imipenem, complicated treatment of the patients infected with these bacteria in the hospitals understudy.
PMCID: PMC4350054  PMID: 25789134
Acinetobacter baumannii; Biofilms; Carbapenemase
7.  Evidence of Diversity among Epidemiologically Related Carbapenemase-Producing Acinetobacter baumannii Strains Belonging to International Clonal Lineage II 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2012;50(3):590-597.
Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii strains belonging to international clonal lineage II (ICL-II) have become predominant in intensive care units (ICUs) throughout Italy. Between 2005 and 2009, the carbapenem-hydrolyzing class D β-lactamase (CHDL) blaOXA-23 gene became more prevalent than blaOXA-58 among epidemic ICL-II strains showing extensive genetic similarity. These findings posed the question of whether CHDL gene replacement occurred in the homogeneous ICL-II population or a new OXA-23 clone(s) emerged and spread in ICUs. In this study, the changes in the ICL-II A. baumannii population and CHDL gene carriage were investigated in 30 genetically related isolates collected during the blaOXA-58-to-blaOXA-23 transition period. Pulsotyping, randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis, and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) results were combined with multilocus variable-number tandem-repeat (VNTR) analysis (MLVA-8), siderotyping, and plasmid profiling to improve genotype-based discrimination between isolates. Pulsotyping, RAPD analysis, and MLST clustered isolates into a single type. MLVA-8 identified 19 types that clustered into three complexes. All OXA-23-producing isolates formed a single complex, while OXA-58 producers were split into two complexes. Southern blot analysis of the physical localization and genetic context of the CHDL genes showed that blaOXA-58 was invariably located on plasmids, while blaOXA-23 was present within Tn2006 on the chromosome or both the chromosome and plasmids. These data indicate that the apparently homogeneous population of CHDL-producing ICL-II strains was composed of several independent strains and that, between 2005 and 2009, distinct OXA-23 producers displaced the preexisting OXA-58 producers. Thus, MLVA-8 appears to be a suitable tool not only for investigating A. baumannii population structure but also for high-resolution epidemiological typing.
PMCID: PMC3295171  PMID: 22205821
8.  Molecular epidemiology of Acinetobacter baumannii in different hospitals in Tripoli, Lebanon using blaOXA-51-like sequence based typing 
BMC Microbiology  2015;15:103.
A. baumannii has emerged as an important nosocomial pathogen with an outstanding ability to acquire multidrug resistant mechanisms. In this study, we investigate the molecular epidemiology and carbapenem resistance mechanisms of A. baumannii in Tripoli, Northern Lebanon.
One hundred sixteen non-duplicate isolates isolated between 2011 and 2013 in different hospitals in Tripoli, Lebanon from Lebanese patients and wounded Syrian patients during Syrian war were studied. Antibiotic susceptibility testing was determined by agar disc diffusion and Etest. Carbapenemase-encoding genes were investigated by PCR. All isolates were typed by blaOXA-51-like sequence based typing (SBT) and 57 isolates were also analysed by MLST using Pasteur’s scheme followed by eBURST analysis.
Of the 116 isolates, 70 (60 %) showed a carbapenem resistance phenotype. The blaOXA-23 with an upstream insertion of ISAba1 was the major carbapenem resistance mechanism and detected in 65 isolates. Five isolates, including four from wounded Syrian patients and one from a Lebanese patient, were positive for blaNDM-1. blaOXA-51-like SBT revealed the presence of 14 variants, where blaOXA-66 was the most common and present in 73 isolates, followed by blaOXA-69 in 20 isolates. MLST analysis identified 17 sequence types (ST) and showed a concordance with blaOXA-51-like SBT. Each clonal complex (CC) had a specific blaOXA-51-like sequence such as CC2, which harboured blaOXA-66 variant, and CC1 harbouring blaOXA-69 variant. NDM-1 producing isolates belonged to ST85 (4 Syrian isolates) and ST25 (1 Lebanese isolate).
Our results showed a successful predominance of international clone 2 with a widespread occurrence of OXA-23 carbapenemase in Lebanese hospitals. These findings emphasise the urgent need of effective measures to control the spread of A. baumannii in this country.
PMCID: PMC4432822  PMID: 25976451
Acinetobacter baumannii; Lebanon; Carbapenem resistance; blaOXA-51 sequence based typing; MLST; OXA-23; NDM-1
9.  Genotyping of carbapenem resistant Acinetobacter baumannii isolated from tracheal tube discharge of hospitalized patients in intensive care units, Ahvaz, Iran 
Iranian Journal of Microbiology  2013;5(4):315-322.
Background and Objectives
Carbapenem resistant A. baumannii is an emerging cause of nosocomial infections. The aims of this study were identification of the most prevalent of carbapenem resistant genes, molecular typing and antimicrobial evaluation of A.baumannii in intensive care units.
Materials and Methods
Two hundred and six A. baumannii were isolated from tracheal tube discharge of hospitalized patients at different intensive care units in Ahvaz, Iran. Antimicrobial susceptibility test was done on all isolates. Multiplex and singleplex PCR were performed for detection of blaOXA-23-like, blaOXA-24-like, blaOXA-51-like, blaOXA-58-like, blaVIM, blaIMP, blaSPM and blaNDM genes. Genetic relationship of all isolates was determined by REP-PCR method.
Out of 206 examined isolates, 198 (96.1%) isolates were resistant to imipenem and meropenem. However 3.9% isolates were sensitive to these antibiotics. The blaOXA-23-like and blaOXA-24-like genes were detected in 85% and 8.7% of strains, respectively. No blaOXA-58- like, blaIMP, blaVIM, blaSPM and blaNDM were detected. REP-PCR results showed that isolates were belonged to five genotypes: Genotype A was the most prevalent (P- value < 0.001): it was observed in 75 of 206 strains (36.4%). Genotype B, and C were found in 28.6% and 27.7%, respectively. The rate of other genotypes was as follows: D (2.4%), E (1%).
Based on the obtained results, the rate of carbapenem resistance was high among of A. baumannii which was isolated from intensive care units patients and oxacillinase genes were the most prevalent carbapenem resistant genes. These results revealed that three clones, A, B and C of A.baumannii are common in our hospitals.
PMCID: PMC4385154  PMID: 25848498
Acinetobacter baumannii; Carbapenem resistant; Intensive Care Units
10.  Co-occurrence of carbapenem and aminoglycoside resistance genes among multidrug-resistant clinical isolates of Acinetobacter baumannii from Cracow, Poland 
Acinetobacter baumannii is a significant hospital pathogen, possessing a considerable degree of antimicrobial resistance. A. baumannii resistance to carbapenems and aminoglycosides is mostly conferred by class D OXA carbapenemases and aminoglycoside-modifying enzymes, respectively. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of selected genes encoding OXA carbapenemases and aminoglycoside-modifying enzymes in multidrug-resistant strains of A. baumannii.
The study included 61 carbapenem-resistant and aminoglycoside-nonsusceptible A. baumannii isolates, collected between 2009 and 2011 in Cracow, Poland. Selected resistance genes, including: blaOXA-51-like, blaOXA-23-like, blaOXA-40-like, blaOXA-58-like, aac(6′)-Ih, aac(3)-Ia, aac(3)-IIa, aac(6′)-Ib, aph(3′)-Ia and aph(3′)-VI, were detected by PCR method.
The blaOXA-51-like genes were detected in all isolates, while acquired carbapenemase encoding genes were found in 96.7% of tested strains. Presence of blaOXA-40-like and blaOXA-23-like genes was observed among 65.6% and 27.9% of isolates, respectively. Assayed aminoglycoside resistance genes were found to harbor 98.4% of isolates. Among tested strains, we observed the following percentages of resistance determinants: aac(3)-Ia – 78.7%, aph(3′)-VI – 78.7% and aph(3′)-Ia – 27.9%. Analysis of co-occurrence of carbapenem and aminoglycoside resistance genes revealed the highest percentage of strains possessing blaOXA-40-like, aac(3)-Ia, and aph(3′)-VI genes (44.3%).
The blaOXA-40-like and aac(3)-Ia/aph(3′)-VI were the most prevalent genes encoding acquired OXA carbapenemases and aminoglycoside-modifying enzymes, respectively, among A. baumannii strains in Cracow, Poland. Genes conferring resistance to carbapenems and aminoglycosides coexisted in the clinical strains of A. baumannii. The phenomenon of A. baumannii resistance indicates the necessity of monitoring for the presence of the resistance genes.
PMCID: PMC3936949  PMID: 24463791
Acinetobacter baumannii; carbapenem resistance detection; aminoglycoside resistance detection
11.  Dissemination of multidrug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii in various hospitals of Antananarivo Madagascar 
This study reports the dissemination of multidrug-resistant (MDR) OXA-23-producing Acinetobacter baumannii clones in hospitals in Antananarivo, Madagascar. A total of 53 carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii isolates were obtained from September 2006 to March 2009 in five hospitals. These resistant strains represent 44% of all A. baumannii isolates. The double disk synergy test was performed to screen for production of metallo-beta-lactamases. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and DNA sequencing were performed for the detection of bla(AmpC), bla(OXA-51),bla(OXA-23), bla(OXA-24), bla(IMP), bla(VIM). The presence of the insertion sequence ISAba1 relative to blaOXA-23 and blaOXA-51 was assessed by PCR. Isolates were typed by Rep-PCR. All the isolates were MDR and produced the OXA-23 carbapenemase, which was confirmed by sequencing. PCR analysis for AmpC and OXA-51 gave positive results for all strains studied. No isolates produced metallo-beta-lactamases. In all isolates ISAba1 laid upstream of blaOXA-23. The A. baumannii isolates were separated into two genotypes; genotype A had a higher prevalence (41 strains) than genotype B (12 strains). Genotype A was present in four hospitals, whilst genotype B had spread in two hospitals. The high frequency of MDR OXA-23-producing A. baumannii in various hospitals in Antananarivo is curious since carbapenems are not available in Madagascar, but it emphasises the need for infection control procedures and strict adherence to them to prevent the spread of these resistant organisms in Antananarivo and also the need to control the use of carbapenems in the future.
PMCID: PMC2910008  PMID: 20591154
12.  Characterization of carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii isolates in a Chinese teaching hospital 
Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB) presents a serious therapeutic and infection control challenge. In this study, we investigated the epidemiological and molecular differences of CRAB and the threatening factors for contributing to increased CRAB infections at a hospital in western China. A total of 110 clinical isolates of A. baumannii, collected in a recent 2-year period, were tested for carbapenem antibiotic susceptibility, followed by a molecular analysis of carbapenemase genes. Genetic relatedness of the isolates was characterized by multilocus sequence typing. Sixty-seven of the 110 isolates (60.9%) were resistant to carbapenems, 80.60% (54/67) of which carried the blaOXA-23 gene. Most of these CRAB isolates (77.62%) were classified as clone complex 92 (CC92), and sequence type (ST) 92 was the most prevalent STs, followed by ST195, ST136, ST843, and ST75. One CRAB isolate of ST195 harbored plasmid pAB52 from a Chinese patient without travel history. This plasmid contains toxin–antitoxin elements related to adaptation for growth, which might have emerged as a common vehicle indirectly mediating the spread of OXA-23 in CRAB. Thus, CC92 A. baumannii carrying OXA-23 is a major drug-resistant strain spreading in China. Our findings indicate that rational application of antibiotics is indispensable for minimizing widespread of drug resistance.
PMCID: PMC4555021  PMID: 26388854
Acinetobacter baumannii; carbapenem resistance; OXA-23; plasmid; CC92
13.  Contribution of a Plasmid-Borne blaOXA-58 Gene with Its Hybrid Promoter Provided by IS1006 and an ISAba3-Like Element to β-Lactam Resistance in Acinetobacter Genomic Species 13TU ▿  
The contribution of the blaOXA-58 gene and its promoter to β-lactam resistance has not been validated in Acinetobacter spp. other than Acinetobacter baumannii. We identified a multidrug-resistant (including carbapenem resistance) Acinetobacter genomic species 13TU in which blaOXA-58 was the only detected carbapenemase gene. The blaOXA-58 gene was plasmid located, flanked by ISAba3 (downstream) and an ISAba3-like element (upstream). An IS1006 element was inserted into ISAba3-like (IS1006-ΔISAba3-like) to generate a hybrid promoter for blaOXA-58, with a −35 promoter located in IS1006 and a −10 promoter in ISAba3-like. The reference strain of Acinetobacter genomic species 13TU, ATCC 17903, revealed higher MICs of amoxicillin, ticarcillin, and piperacillin and heteroresistance to imipenem and meropenem when it was transformed with a shuttle vector containing a fragment encompassing ΔISAba3-like-blaOXA-58, compared to the same host containing only blaOXA-58. When the fragment was changed from ΔISAba3-like-blaOXA-58 to IS1006-ΔISAba3-like-blaOXA-58, the ATCC 17903 transformant revealed a markedly higher level of blaOXA-58 transcription (12-fold), increased cefuroxime and piperacillin-tazobactam MICs, and homoresistance to imipenem and meropenem. Different roles of the insertion elements preceding the blaOXA-58 gene in Acinetobacter genomic species 13TU are demonstrated. The ISAba3-like--blaOXA-58 construct can mediate resistance to penicillin derivatives but only heteroresistance to carbapenems. The insertion of IS1006 into ISAba3-like, generating a hybrid promoter, could further enhance the transcription of blaOXA-58 and mediate homoresistance to carbapenems and also enhanced resistance to piperacillin-tazobactam.
PMCID: PMC2916316  PMID: 20516281
14.  Molecular Epidemiology of Clinical Isolates of Carbapenem-Resistant Acinetobacter spp. from Chinese Hospitals▿  
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2007;51(11):4022-4028.
Carbapenem resistance in Acinetobacter spp. is an emerging problem in China. We investigated the molecular epidemiology and carbapenemase genes of 221 nonrepetitive imipenem-resistant clinical isolates of Acinetobacter spp. collected from 1999 to 2005 at 11 teaching hospitals in China. Genotyping by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) found 15 PFGE patterns. Of these, one (clone P) was identified at four hospitals in Beijing and another (clone A) at four geographically disparate cities. Most imipenem-resistant isolates exhibited high-level resistance to all β-lactams and were only susceptible to colistin. blaOXA-23-like genes were found in 97.7% of isolates. Sequencing performed on 60 representative isolates confirmed the presence of the blaOXA-23 carbapenemase gene. Analysis of the genetic context of blaOXA-23 showed the presence of ISAba1 upstream of blaOXA-23. All of the 187 A. baumannii isolates identified by amplified RNA gene restriction analysis carried a blaOXA-51-like oxacillinase gene, while this gene was absent from isolates of other species. Sequencing indicated the presence of blaOXA-66 for 18 representative isolates. Seven isolates of one clone (clone T) carried the plasmid-mediated blaOXA-58 carbapenemase gene, while one isolate of another clone (clone L) carried the blaOXA-72 carbapenemase gene. Only 1 isolate of clone Q carried the blaIMP-8 metallo-β-lactamase gene, located in a class 1 integron. Of 221 isolates, 77.8% carried blaPER-1-like genes. Eleven different structures of class 1 integrons were detected, and most integrons carried genes mediating resistance to aminoglycosides, rifampin, and chloramphenicol. These findings indicated clonal spread of imipenem-resistant Acinetobacter spp. and wide dissemination of the OXA-23 carbapenemase in China.
PMCID: PMC2151426  PMID: 17846127
15.  Evaluation of Clonality and Carbapenem Resistance Mechanisms among Acinetobacter baumannii-Acinetobacter calcoaceticus Complex and Enterobacteriaceae Isolates Collected in European and Mediterranean Countries and Detection of Two Novel β-Lactamases, GES-22 and VIM-35 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2014;58(12):7358-7366.
We evaluated doripenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii-Acinetobacter calcoaceticus complex (ACB; n = 411) and Enterobacteriaceae (n = 92) isolates collected from patients from 14 European and Mediterranean countries during 2009 to 2011 for the presence of carbapenemase-encoding genes and clonality. Following susceptibility testing, carbapenem-resistant (doripenem MIC, >2 μg/ml) isolates were screened for carbapenemases. New β-lactamase genes were expressed in a common background and susceptibility was tested. Class 1 integrons were sequenced. Clonality was evaluated by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and multilocus sequence typing (Pasteur scheme). Relative expression of β-lactam intrinsic resistance mechanisms was determined for carbapenemase-negative Enterobacteriaceae. ACB and Enterobacteriaceae displayed 58.9 and 0.9% doripenem resistance, respectively. blaOXA-23, blaOXA-58, and blaOXA-24/OXA-40 were detected among 277, 77, and 29 ACB, respectively (in 8, 6, and 5 countries). Ten Turkish isolates carried blaGES-11 or blaGES-22. GES-22 (G243A and M169L mutations in GES-1) had an extended-spectrum β-lactamase profile. A total of 33 clusters of ≥2 ACB isolates were observed, and 227 isolates belonged to sequence type 2/international clone II. Other international clones were limited to Turkey and Israel. Doripenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae increased significantly (0.7 to 1.6%), and 15 blaKPC-2- and 22 blaKPC-3-carrying isolates, mostly belonging to clonal complexes 11 and 258, were observed. Enterobacteriaceae isolates producing OXA-48 (n = 16; in Turkey and Italy), VIM-1 (n = 10; in Greece, Poland, and Spain), VIM-26 (n = 1; in Greece), and IMP-19, VIM-4, and the novel VIM-35 (n = 1 each from Poland) were detected. VIM-35 had one substitution compared to VIM-1 (A235T) and a similar susceptibility profile. One or more resistance mechanisms were identified in 4/6 carbapenemase-negative Enterobacteriaceae. This broad evaluation confirms results from country-specific surveys and shows a highly diverse population of carbapenemase-producing ACB and Enterobacteriaceae in Europe and Mediterranean countries.
PMCID: PMC4249534  PMID: 25267671
16.  The Prevalence of ISAba1 and ISAba4 in Acinetobacter baumannii Species of Different International Clone Lineages Among Patients With Burning in Tehran, Iran 
Multidrug resistant strains of Acinetobacter baumannii (MDR-AB) have emerged as alarming nosocomial pathogens among patients with burning.
The current study aimed to determine the susceptibility of A. baumannii species, carbapenems resistance patterns, and their association with ISAba1 and ISAba4 elements upstream of the blaOXA-like genes, and the distribution of international clone (IC) of A. baumannii isolates among patients with burning in Tehran, Iran.
Materials and Methods:
In the current study, 62 A. baumannii species isolates from patients with burning in Tehran, Iran, in 2012 were evaluated for the antimicrobial susceptibility, genetic relationships, ICs, carbapenemase encoding genes, and insertion elements ISAba upstream of blaOXA-like genes.
The highest rates of susceptibility were observed with colistin (88.7%) and tigecycline (82.2%). The extensively drug-resistance and pan drug-resistance were observed in 37.1% and 8.1% of the isolates, respectively. About 98.3% of 17 genotypes categorized into three distinct clusters. Thirty-six of the 62 isolates (58%) belonged to the IC II lineage. The most prevalent acquired OXA-type carbapenemase was blaOXA-23-like (62.9%). ISAba1 and ISAba4 were detected upstream of blaOXA-23-like genes in 45.1% and 12.9% of isolates, respectively. In 32.2% of all isolates, ISAba1 laid upstream of blaOXA-51-like genes. The PCR results were negative for carbapenemase genes of Ambler class A and B, except blaVIM-2. (1.6%).
It was the first study that attempted to detect the insertion elements ISAba and IC lineages in MDR-AB species isolated from patients with burning in Iran.
PMCID: PMC4575776  PMID: 26396712
Drug Resistance; beta-Lactamases; Molecular Epidemiology; Carbapenemase; IS elements; Acinetobacter baumannii
17.  Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii and Klebsiella pneumoniae across a hospital system: impact of post-acute care facilities on dissemination 
Resistance to carbapenems among Acinetobacter baumannii and Klebsiella pneumoniae presents a serious therapeutic and infection control challenge. We describe the epidemiology and genetic basis of carbapenem resistance in A. baumannii and K. pneumoniae in a six-hospital healthcare system in Northeast Ohio.
Clinical isolates of A. baumannii and K. pneumoniae distributed across the healthcare system were collected from April 2007 to April 2008. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed followed by molecular analysis of carbapenemase genes. Genetic relatedness of isolates was established with repetitive sequence-based PCR (rep-PCR), multilocus PCR followed by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (PCR/ESI-MS) and PFGE. Clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients were reviewed.
Among 39 isolates of A. baumannii, two predominant genotypes related to European clone II were found. Eighteen isolates contained blaOXA-23, and four isolates possessed blaOXA-24/40. Among 29 K. pneumoniae isolates with decreased susceptibility to carbapenems, two distinct genotypes containing blaKPC-2 or blaKPC-3 were found. Patients with carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii and K. pneumoniae were elderly, possessed multiple co-morbidities, were frequently admitted from and discharged to post-acute care facilities, and experienced prolonged hospital stays (up to 25 days) with a high mortality rate (up to 35%).
In this outbreak of carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii and K. pneumoniae across a healthcare system, we illustrate the important role post-acute care facilities play in the dissemination of multidrug-resistant phenotypes.
PMCID: PMC2904665  PMID: 20513702
LTCF; LTACH; molecular epidemiology; MLST; PFGE; rep-PCR; KPC
18.  Emergence and Distribution of Plasmids Bearing the blaOXA-51-Like Gene with an Upstream ISAba1 in Carbapenem-Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii Isolates in Taiwan ▿  
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2010;54(11):4575-4581.
The blaOXA-51-like gene with an upstream ISAba1 (ISAba1-blaOXA-51-like gene) was originally found on the chromosomes of carbapenem-resistant or -susceptible Acinetobacter baumannii isolates. However, a plasmid-borne ISAba1-blaOXA-51-like gene has recently been identified in Acinetobacter genomic species 13TU and several A. baumannii isolates in Taiwan, and all of the isolates are carbapenem resistant. This study aimed to characterize the plasmids bearing the ISAba1-blaOXA-51-like gene and their significance in A. baumannii. Among the 117 ISAba1-blaOXA-51-like-harboring isolates collected from 10 hospitals in Taiwan, 58 isolates (49.6%) from 24 clones had the genes located on plasmids that likely originated from a common progenitor. Among the 58 isolates, four had additional copy of the ISAba1-blaOXA-51-like gene on their chromosomes. Based on the analysis of these four isolates, the plasmid-located ISAba1-blaOXA-51-like gene appeared to be acquired via one-ended transposition (Tn6080). The isolates with a plasmid bearing the ISAba1-blaOXA-51-like gene had higher rates of resistance to imipenem (98% versus 46.6%; P < 0.001) and meropenem (98% versus 69%; P = 0.019) than those with the genes chromosomally encoded, which is most likely due to increased gene dosage provided by the higher copy number of associated plasmids. Transformation with a recombinant plasmid harboring only the ISAba1-blaOXA-51-like gene was enough to confer a high level of carbapenem resistance to A. baumannii, eliminating the possible contribution of other factors on the original plasmids. This study demonstrated that the carbapenem resistance-associated plasmids carrying the ISAba1-blaOXA-51-like gene are widespread in A. baumannii strains in Taiwan.
PMCID: PMC2976157  PMID: 20713680
19.  Carbapenem Susceptibility Testing Errors Using Three Automated Systems, Disk Diffusion, Etest, and Broth Microdilution and Carbapenem Resistance Genes in Isolates of Acinetobacter baumannii-calcoaceticus Complex▿ 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2011;55(10):4707-4711.
The Acinetobacter baumannii-calcoaceticus complex (ABC) is associated with increasing carbapenem resistance, necessitating accurate resistance testing to maximize therapeutic options. We determined the accuracy of carbapenem antimicrobial susceptibility tests for ABC isolates and surveyed them for genetic determinants of carbapenem resistance. A total of 107 single-patient ABC isolates from blood and wound infections from 2006 to 2008 were evaluated. MICs of imipenem, meropenem, and doripenem determined by broth microdilution (BMD) were compared to results obtained by disk diffusion, Etest, and automated methods (the MicroScan, Phoenix, and Vitek 2 systems). Discordant results were categorized as very major errors (VME), major errors (ME), and minor errors (mE). DNA sequences encoding OXA beta-lactamase enzymes (blaOXA-23-like, blaOXA-24-like, blaOXA-58-like, and blaOXA-51-like) and metallo-β-lactamases (MBLs) (IMP, VIM, and SIM1) were identified by PCR, as was the KPC2 carbapenemase gene. Imipenem was more active than meropenem and doripenem. The percentage of susceptibility was 37.4% for imipenem, 35.5% for meropenem, and 3.7% for doripenem. Manual methods were more accurate than automated methods. blaOXA-23-like and blaOXA-24-like were the primary resistance genes found. blaOXA-58-like, MBLs, and KPC2 were not present. Both automated testing and manual testing for susceptibility to doripenem were very inaccurate, with VME rates ranging between 2.8 and 30.8%. International variability in carbapenem breakpoints and the absence of CLSI breakpoints for doripenem present a challenge in susceptibility testing.
PMCID: PMC3187004  PMID: 21807971
20.  Acinetobacter baumannii isolates from pets and horses in Switzerland: molecular characterization and clinical data 
Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy  2011;66(10):2248-2254.
We investigated whether Acinetobacter baumannii isolates of veterinary origin shared common molecular characteristics with those described in humans.
Nineteen A. baumannii isolates collected in pets and horses were analysed. Clonality was studied using repetitive extragenic palindromic PCR (rep-PCR) and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). PCR and DNA sequencing for various β-lactamase, aminoglycoside-modifying enzyme, gyrA and parC, ISAba1 and IS1133, adeR and adeS of the AdeABC efflux pump, carO porin and class 1/2/3 integron genes were performed.
Two main clones [A (n = 8) and B (n = 9)] were observed by rep-PCR. MLST indicated that clone A contained isolates of sequence type (ST) ST12 (international clone II) and clone B contained isolates of ST15 (international clone I). Two isolates of ST10 and ST20 were also noted. Seventeen isolates were resistant to gentamicin, 12 to ciprofloxacin and 3 to carbapenems. Isolates of ST12 carried blaOXA-66, blaADC-25, blaTEM-1, aacC2 and IS1133. Strains of ST15 possessed blaOXA-69, blaADC-11, blaTEM-1 and a class 1 integron carrying aacC1 and aadA1. ISAba1 was found upstream of blaADC (one ST10 and one ST12) and/or blaOXA-66 (seven ST12). Twelve isolates of different STs contained the substitutions Ser83Leu in GyrA and Ser80Leu or Glu84Lys in ParC. Significant disruptions of CarO porin and overexpressed efflux pumps were not observed. The majority of infections were hospital acquired and in animals with predisposing conditions for infection.
STs and the molecular background of resistance observed in our collection have been frequently described in A. baumannii detected in human patients. Animals should be considered as a potential reservoir of multidrug-resistant A. baumannii.
PMCID: PMC3172040  PMID: 21733964
21.  Prevalence of Genes of OXA-23 Carbapenemase and AdeABC Efflux Pump Associated with Multidrug Resistance of Acinetobacter baumannii Isolates in the ICU of a Comprehensive Hospital of Northwestern China 
The objective of this study was to explore the molecular epidemiology and the genetic support of clinical multidrug resistant (MDR) Acinetobacter baumannii (A. baumannii) isolates in an ICU ward of a comprehensive hospital. A total of 102 non-duplicate drug-resistant A. baumannii isolates were identified and 93 (91.1%) of them were MDR strains. Molecular analysis demonstrated that carbapenemase genes blaOXA-23 and blaOXA-51 were presented in all 93 MDR isolates (100%), but other carbapenemase genes, including blaOXA-24, blaOXA-58, blaIMP-1, blaIMP-4, blaSIM, and blaVIM genes were completely absent in all isolates. In addition, genes of AdeABC efflux system were detected in 88.2% (90/102) isolates. Interestingly, an addition to efflux pump inhibitor, reserpine could significantly enhance the susceptibility of MDR isolates to moxifloxacin, cefotaxime, and imipenem (p < 0.01). Clonal relationship analysis further grouped these clinical drug-resistant isolates into nine clusters, and the MDR strains were mainly in clusters A, B, C, and D, which include 16, 13, 25, and 15 isolates, respectively. This study demonstrated that clinical isolates carrying carbapenemase-encoding genes blaOXA-23 and AdeABC efflux pump genes are the main prevalent MDR A. baumannii, and the co-expression of oxacillinase and efflux pump proteins are thus considered to be the important reason for the prevalence of this organism in the ICU of this hospital.
PMCID: PMC4555330  PMID: 26308027
Acinetobacter baumannii; multidrug resistance; nosocomial infections; oxacillinase; efflux pump
22.  Complete Genome Analysis of Three Acinetobacter baumannii Clinical Isolates in China for Insight into the Diversification of Drug Resistance Elements 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e66584.
The emergence and rapid spreading of multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii strains has become a major health threat worldwide. To better understand the genetic recombination related with the acquisition of drug-resistant elements during bacterial infection, we performed complete genome analysis on three newly isolated multidrug-resistant A. baumannii strains from Beijing using next-generation sequencing technology.
Methodologies/Principal Findings
Whole genome comparison revealed that all 3 strains share some common drug resistant elements including carbapenem-resistant blaOXA-23 and tetracycline (tet) resistance islands, but the genome structures are diversified among strains. Various genomic islands intersperse on the genome with transposons and insertions, reflecting the recombination flexibility during the acquisition of the resistant elements. The blood-isolated BJAB07104 and ascites-isolated BJAB0868 exhibit high similarity on their genome structure with most of the global clone II strains, suggesting these two strains belong to the dominant outbreak strains prevalent worldwide. A large resistance island (RI) of about 121-kb, carrying a cluster of resistance-related genes, was inserted into the ATPase gene on BJAB07104 and BJAB0868 genomes. A 78-kb insertion element carrying tra-locus and blaOXA-23 island, can be either inserted into one of the tniB gene in the 121-kb RI on the chromosome, or transformed to conjugative plasmid in the two BJAB strains. The third strains of this study, BJAB0715, which was isolated from spinal fluid, exhibit much more divergence compared with above two strains. It harbors multiple drug-resistance elements including a truncated AbaR-22-like RI on its genome. One of the unique features of this strain is that it carries both blaOXA-23 and blaOXA-58 genes on its genome. Besides, an Acinetobacter lwoffii adeABC efflux element was found inserted into the ATPase position in BJAB0715.
Our comparative analysis on currently completed Acinetobacter baumannii genomes revealed extensive and dynamic genome organizations, which may facilitate the bacteria to acquire drug-resistance elements into their genomes.
PMCID: PMC3691203  PMID: 23826102
23.  Rapid Identification of Carbapenemase Genes in Gram-Negative Bacteria with an Oligonucleotide Microarray-Based Assay 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e102232.
Rapid molecular identification of carbapenemase genes in Gram-negative bacteria is crucial for infection control and prevention, surveillance and for epidemiological purposes. Furthermore, it may have a significant impact upon determining the appropriate initial treatment and greatly benefit for critically ill patients. A novel oligonucleotide microarray-based assay was developed to simultaneously detect genes encoding clinically important carbapenemases as well as selected extended (ESBL) and narrow spectrum (NSBL) beta-lactamases directly from clonal culture material within few hours. Additionally, a panel of species specific markers was included to identify Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Citrobacter freundii/braakii, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Acinetobacter baumannii. The assay was tested using a panel of 117 isolates collected from urinary, blood and stool samples. For these isolates, phenotypic identifications and susceptibility tests were available. An independent detection of carbapenemase, ESBL and NSBL genes was carried out by various external reference laboratories using PCR methods. In direct comparison, the microarray correctly identified 98.2% of the covered carbapenemase genes. This included blaVIM (13 out of 13), blaGIM (2/2), blaKPC (27/27), blaNDM (5/5), blaIMP-2/4/7/8/13/14/15/16/31 (10/10), blaOXA-23 (12/13), blaOXA-40-group (7/7), blaOXA-48-group (32/33), blaOXA-51 (1/1) and blaOXA-58 (1/1). Furthermore, the test correctly identified additional beta-lactamases [blaOXA-1 (16/16), blaOXA-2 (4/4), blaOXA-9 (33/33), OXA-10 (3/3), blaOXA-51 (25/25), blaOXA-58 (2/2), CTX-M1/M15 (17/17) and blaVIM (1/1)]. In direct comparison to phenotypical identification obtained by VITEK or MALDI-TOF systems, 114 of 117 (97.4%) isolates, including Acinetobacter baumannii (28/28), Enterobacter spec. (5/5), Escherichia coli (4/4), Klebsiella pneumoniae (62/63), Klebsiella oxytoca (0/2), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (12/12), Citrobacter freundii (1/1) and Citrobacter braakii (2/2), were correctly identified by a panel of species specific probes. This assay might be easily extended, adapted and transferred to point of care platforms enabling fast surveillance, rapid detection and appropriate early treatment of infections caused by multiresistant Gram-negative bacteria.
PMCID: PMC4113224  PMID: 25068267
24.  Molecular Characterization of Carbapenem Resistant Isolates of Acinetobacter baumannii in An Intensive Care Unit of A Tertiary Care Centre at Central India 
Objective: To detect genes encoding carbapenem resistance in Acinetobacter baumannii in an intensive care unit.
Methods: A. baumannii isolates were recovered from various clinical specimens of hospitalized patients admitted to the Medical and Surgical intensive care units of a tertiary care centre in Pune. Bacterial identification was performed by routine conventional microbial culture and biochemical tests using standard recommended techniques. Antibiotic sensitivity test was performed by standard Kirby Bauer disc diffusion technique. PCR amplification and automated sequencing was carried out.
Results: A total of 155 /368 (42.11%) isolates A. baumannii were found to have reduced susceptibility to imipenem (diameter of zones of inhibition ≤13mm) by disc diffusion method. Among these 155 isolates tested 130 (83.87%) isolates showed MIC values for imipenem and meropenem ranging from16-64 mg/L as per CLSI breakpoints. Among these 155 isolates, Carbapenemase production was confirmed by Modified Hodge test for 93 (60%) isolates. Out of 155 isolates, DDST was positive for 89 (57.41%), CDST was positive for 73(47.09%) and MBL (IP/IPI) E-test was positive for 105 (67.74%). blaOXA-51 gene was detected in 47/105 (44.76%), blaOXA-23 gene in 55/105 (52.38%) and blaOXA-58 like gene in 15/105 (14.28%).
Conclusion: MBL production along with co- production of OXA enzymes are considered to be the important reason for resistance to imipenem in Acinetobacter in our health care settings. Hence, early detection of these drug resistant genes by molecular methods is essential in limiting the spread of infection due to these organisms.
PMCID: PMC4080003  PMID: 24995182
A. baumannii; Carbapenem; Multidrug resistant; Metallo beta-lactamase
25.  Genetic Basis of Multidrug Resistance in Acinetobacter Clinical Isolates in Taiwan▿  
Multidrug-resistant (MDR) Acinetobacter spp. have emerged as a threat to public health. We investigated the various genes involved in resistance to fluoroquinolones, aminoglycosides, cephalosporins, and carbapenems in 75 clinical Acinetobacter isolates from a Taiwanese hospital. All isolates were tested for the gyrA mutations, the presence of integrons, blaAmpC, and carbapenem resistance genes. The Ser83Leu mutation in GyrA accounted for fluoroquinolone resistance. The presence of integrons containing aminoglycoside-modifying enzymes was associated with resistance to gentamicin and tobramycin but not with resistance to amikacin. The presence of an ISAba1 element upstream of blaAmpC was correlated with cephalosporin resistance. Although most Acinetobacter baumannii isolates with ISAba1-blaOXA-51-like were resistant to carbapenems, several isolates remained susceptible to carbapenems. Transformation by the introduction of ISAba1-blaOXA-23 or ISAba1-blaOXA-66 into A. baumannii ATCC 15151 (CIP 70.10), resulting in the overexpression of OXA-23 or OXA-66, respectively, suggested the role of the ISAba1 element as a strong promoter. The two transformants showed significantly increased resistance to piperacillin-tazobactam, imipenem, and meropenem. The cefepime resistance conferred by ISAba1-blaOXA-23 and the impact of ISAba1-blaOXA-66 on carbapenem resistance in A. baumannii are reported here for the first time. Continuous surveillance of antibiotic resistance genes in MDR Acinetobacter spp. and elucidation of their antibiotic resistance mechanisms are crucial for the development of therapy regimens and for the prevention of further dissemination of these antibiotic resistance genes.
PMCID: PMC2863617  PMID: 20194701

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