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1.  Outcome of infections due to pandrug-resistant (PDR) Gram-negative bacteria 
The increasing problem of infections due to multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria has led to re-use of polymyxins in several countries. However, there are already clinical isolates of Gram-negative bacteria that are resistant to all available antibiotics, including polymyxins.
We present a case series of patients with infections due to pathogens resistant to all antimicrobial agents tested, including polymyxins. An isolate was defined as pandrug-resistant (PDR) if it exhibited resistance to all 7 anti-pseudomonal antimicrobial agents, i.e. antipseudomonal penicillins, cephalosporins, carbapenems, monobactams, quinolones, aminoglycosides, and polymyxins.
Clinical cure of the infection due to pandrug-resistant (PDR) Gram-negative bacteria, namely Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Klebsiella pneumoniae was observed in 4 out of 6 patients with combination of colistin and beta lactam antibiotics.
Colistin, in combination with beta lactam antibiotics, may be a useful agent for the management of pandrug-resistant Gram-negative bacterial infections. The re-use of polymyxins, an old class of antibiotics, should be done with caution in an attempt to delay the rate of development of pandrug-resistant Gram-negative bacterial infections.
PMCID: PMC1087841  PMID: 15819983
2.  Current Epidemiology and Growing Resistance of Gram-Negative Pathogens 
In the 1980s, Gram-negative pathogens appeared to have been beaten by oxyimino-cephalosporins, carbapenems, and fluoroquinolones. Yet these pathogens have fought back, aided by their membrane organization, which promotes the exclusion and efflux of antibiotics, and by a remarkable propensity to recruit, transfer, and modify the expression of resistance genes, including those for extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs), carbapenemases, aminoglycoside-blocking 16S rRNA methylases, and even a quinolone-modifying variant of an aminoglycoside-modifying enzyme. Gram-negative isolates -both fermenters and non-fermenters-susceptible only to colistin and, more variably, fosfomycin and tigecycline, are encountered with increasing frequency, including in Korea. Some ESBLs and carbapenemases have become associated with strains that have great epidemic potential, spreading across countries and continents; examples include Escherichia coli sequence type (ST)131 with CTX-M-15 ESBL and Klebsiella pneumoniae ST258 with KPC carbapenemases. Both of these high-risk lineages have reached Korea. In other cases, notably New Delhi Metallo carbapenemase, the relevant gene is carried by promiscuous plasmids that readily transfer among strains and species. Unless antibiotic stewardship is reinforced, microbiological diagnosis accelerated, and antibiotic development reinvigorated, there is a real prospect that the antibiotic revolution of the 20th century will crumble.
PMCID: PMC3372794  PMID: 22707882
Enterobacteriaceae; Pseudomonas; Acinetobacter; β-lactamase; Carbapenemase
3.  National Surveillance Study on Carbapenem Non-Susceptible Klebsiella pneumoniae in Taiwan: The Emergence and Rapid Dissemination of KPC-2 Carbapenemase 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e69428.
The global spread and increasing incidence of carbapenem non-susceptible Klebsiella pneumoniae (CnSKP) has made its treatment difficult, increasing the mortality. To establish nationwide data on CnSKP spread and carbapenem-resistance mechanisms, we conducted a national surveillance study in Taiwanese hospitals.
We collected 100 and 247 CnSKP isolates in 2010 and 2012, respectively. The tests performed included antibiotic susceptibility tests; detection of carbapenemase, extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBL), and AmpC β-lactamases genes; outer membrane porin profiles; and genetic relationship with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and multilocus sequence type.
The resistance rate of CnSKP isolates to cefazolin, cefotaxime, cefoxitin, ceftazidime, and ciprofloxacin was over 90%. Susceptibility rate to tigecycline and colistin in 2010 was 91.0% and 83.0%, respectively; in 2012, it was 91.9% and 87.9%, respectively. In 2010, carbapenemase genes were detected in only 6.0% of isolates (4 blaIMP-8 and 2 blaVIM-1). In 2012, carbapenemase genes were detected in 22.3% of isolates (41 blaKPC-2, 7 blaVIM-1, 6 blaIMP-8, and 1 blaNDM-1). More than 95% of isolates exhibited either OmpK35 or OmpK36 porin loss or both. Impermeability due to porin mutation coupled with AmpC β-lactamases or ESBLs were major carbapenem-resistance mechanisms. Among 41 KPC-2-producing K. pneumoniae isolates, all were ST11 with 1 major pulsotype.
In 2010 and 2012, the major mechanisms of CnSKP in Taiwan were the concomitance of AmpC with OmpK35/36 loss. KPC-2-KP dissemination with the same ST11 were observed in 2012. The emergence and rapid spread of KPC-2-KP is becoming an endemic problem in Taiwan. The identification of NDM-1 K. pneumoniae case is alarming.
PMCID: PMC3722148  PMID: 23894478
4.  Synergistic Activity of Colistin plus Rifampin against Colistin-Resistant KPC-Producing Klebsiella pneumoniae 
Infections caused by carbapenem-resistant KPC-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae are responsible for high rates of mortality and represent a major therapeutic challenge, especially when the isolates are also resistant to colistin. We used the checkerboard method to evaluate the synergistic activity of 10 antibiotic combinations against 13 colistin-resistant KPC-producing K. pneumoniae isolates (colistin MIC range of 8 to 128 mg/liter). Colistin plus rifampin was the only combination that demonstrated consistent synergistic bacteriostatic activity against 13/13 strains tested, reducing the colistin MIC below the susceptibility breakpoint (MIC ≤ 2 mg/liter) in 7/13 strains at rifampin concentrations ranging from 4 to 16 mg/liter. Bactericidal synergistic activity was also documented for 8/13 tested strains. Other antimicrobial combinations with carbapenems, gentamicin, and tigecycline showed variously synergistic results. Colistin plus rifampin also exhibited bacteriostatic synergistic activity against 4/4 colistin-susceptible KPC-producing K. pneumoniae isolates (colistin MIC range of 0.5 to 2 mg/liter) and 4/4 ertapenem-resistant extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing K. pneumoniae isolates (ertapenem MIC range of 16 to 32 mg/liter). Collectively, our data suggest that colistin plus rifampin is the most consistently synergistic combination against KPC-producing K. pneumoniae isolates, including colistin-resistant strains. Colistin-rifampin combinations may have a role in the treatment of multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae and may possibly slow the selection of heteroresistant subpopulations during colistin therapy.
PMCID: PMC3719736  PMID: 23752510
5.  Studies on New Delhi Metallo-Beta-Lactamse-1 producing Acinetobacter baumannii isolated from donor swab in a tertiary eye care centre, India and structural analysis of its antibiotic binding interactions 
Bioinformation  2012;8(10):445-452.
Gram-negative bacilli, Enterobacteriaceae and Non-fermentors with resistance to carbapenems and metallo beta-lactams are the major cause of concern in clinical problems in current human healthcare. The most highly emerging dreadful Metallo Beta-lactamses is New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase (blaNDM-1) which confers resistance to carbapenems; susceptible only to colistin and, less consistently to tigecycline, leading to no therapeutic options. In the present study, we demonstrate the effects of cephalosporins and carbepenems on biofilm producing A. baumanii clinical isolate and also to infer the probable inhibitory binding mode through molecular docking studies. The result of MIC on Biofilm producing A. baumanii and the docking analysis results were found to be concordant. Moreover, we also found cephalosporins and carbepenem groups to interact with 162-166 region of blaNDM-1, which is unique for NDM-1 and also documented to be a potential drug targeting region.
PMCID: PMC3374353  PMID: 22715297
6.  Emergence of Klebsiella pneumoniae Carbapenemase (KPC)-Producing Bacteria 
Southern medical journal  2011;104(1):40-45.
Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC)-producing bacteria are a group of emerging highly drug-resistant Gram-negative bacilli causing infections associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Once confined to outbreaks in the northeastern United States (US), they have spread throughout the US and most of the world. KPCs are an important mechanism of resistance for an increasingly wide range of Gram-negative bacteria and are no longer limited to K pneumoniae. KPC-producing bacteria are often misidentified by routine microbiological susceptibility testing and incorrectly reported as sensitive to carbapenems; however, resistance to the carbapenem antibiotic ertapenem is common and a better indicator of the presence of KPCs. Carbapenem antibiotics are generally not effective against KPC-producing organisms. The best therapeutic approach to KPC-producing organisms has yet to be defined; however, common treatments based on in vitro susceptibility testing are the polymyxins, tigecycline, and less frequently aminoglycoside antibiotics. The purpose of this review is to identify the various challenges that KPC-producing bacteria present to clinicians. These include the need for special techniques for microbiological detection, the potential for nosocomial transmission, and therapeutic challenges related to limited, relatively unproven antimicrobial treatment options.
PMCID: PMC3075864  PMID: 21119555
Enterobacteriaceae; multi-drug resistant; carbapenem-resistant; Klebsiella
7.  Tigecycline in the treatment of complicated intra-abdominal and complicated skin and skin structure infections 
Tigecycline, a glycylcycline related to the tetracycline class of antibiotics, represents a new option for the treatment of complicated intra-abdominal and complicated skin and skin structure infections. It displays favorable activity in vitro against the most common causative Gram-positive, Gram-negative and anaerobic pathogens. In addition, tigecycline demonstrates activity against drug-resistant pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin-resistant enterococci, and organisms (such as Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae) producing extended-spectrum beta-lactamases. Tigecycline lacks activity in vitro against Pseudomonas and Proteus spp. In randomized clinical trials, tigecycline administered intravenously twice daily has demonstrated efficacy similar to comparators for a variety of complicated skin and skin structure and complicated intra-abdominal infections. The potential for significant drug interactions with tigecycline appears to be minimal. Dosing adjustment is needed for patients with severe hepatic impairment. The predominant side effect associated with its use to date has been gastrointestinal intolerance (nausea and vomiting).
PMCID: PMC2387284  PMID: 18516315
tigecycline; intra-abdominal infections; complicated skin and skin structure infections
8.  Molecular Basis of NDM-1, a New Antibiotic Resistance Determinant 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(8):e23606.
The New Delhi Metallo-β-lactamase (NDM-1) was first reported in 2009 in a Swedish patient. A recent study reported that Klebsiella pneumonia NDM-1 positive strain or Escherichia coli NDM-1 positive strain was highly resistant to all antibiotics tested except tigecycline and colistin. These can no longer be relied on to treat infections and therefore, NDM-1 now becomes potentially a major global health threat.
In this study, we performed modeling studies to obtain its 3D structure and NDM-1/antibiotics complex. It revealed that the hydrolytic mechanisms are highly conserved. In addition, the detailed analysis indicates that the more flexible and hydrophobic loop1, together with the evolution of more positive-charged loop2 leads to NDM-1 positive strain more potent and extensive in antibiotics resistance compared with other MBLs. Furthermore, through biological experiments, we revealed the molecular basis for antibiotics catalysis of NDM-1 on the enzymatic level. We found that NDM-1 enzyme was highly potent to degrade carbapenem antibiotics, while mostly susceptible to tigecycline, which had the ability to slow down the hydrolysis velocity of meropenem by NDM-1. Meanwhile, the mutagenesis experiments, including D124A, C208A, K211A and K211E, which displayed down-regulation on meropenem catalysis, proved the accuracy of our model.
At present, there are no effective antibiotics against NDM-1 positive pathogen. Our study will provide clues to investigate the molecular basis of extended antibiotics resistance of NDM-1 and then accelerate the search for new antibiotics against NDM-1 positive strain in clinical studies.
PMCID: PMC3161043  PMID: 21887283
9.  AmpC β-lactamases in nosocomial isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae from India 
Background & objectives:
AmpC β-lactamases are clinically significant since these confer resistance to cephalosporins in the oxyimino group, 7-α methoxycephalosporins and are not affected by available β-lactamase inhibitors. In this study we looked for both extended spectrum β-lactamases (ESBL) and AmpC β-lactamases in Klebsiella pneumoniae clinical isolates.
One hundred consecutive, non-duplicate clinical isolates of K. pneumoniae collected over a period of one year (June 2008 - June 2009) were included in the study. An antibiotic susceptibility method was used with 10 antibiotics for Gram-negative infections which helped in screening for ESBL and AmpC β-lactamases and also in confirmation of ESBL production. The detection of AmpC β-lactamases was done based on screening and confirmatory tests. For screening, disc diffusion zones of cefoxitin <18 mm was taken as cefoxitin resistant. All cefoxitin resistant isolates were tested further by AmpC disk test and modified three dimensional test. Multiplex-PCR was performed for screening the presence of plasmid-mediated AmpC genes.
Of the 100 isolates of K. pneumoniae studied, 48 were resistant to cefoxitin on screening. AmpC disk test was positive in 32 (32%) isolates. This was also confirmed with modified three dimensional test. Indentation indicating strong AmpC producer was observed in 25 isolates whereas little distortion (weak AmpC) was observed in 7 isolates. ESBL detection was confirmed by a modification of double disk synergy test in 56 isolates. Cefepime was the best cephalosporin in synergy with tazobactam for detecting ESBL production in isolates co-producing AmpC β-lactamases. The subsets of isolates phenotypically AmpC β-lactamase positive were subjected to amplification of six different families of AmpC gene using multiplex PCR. The sequence analysis revealed 12 CMY-2 and eight DHA-1 types.
Interpretation & conclusions:
Tazobactam was the best β-lactamase inhibitor for detecting ESBL in presence of AmpC β-lactamase as this is a very poor inducer of AmpC gene. Amongst cephalosporins, cefepime was the best cephalosporin in detecting ESBL in presence of AmpC β-lactamase as it is least hydrolyzed by AmpC enzymes. Cefepime-tazobactam combination disk test would be a simple and best method in detection of ESBLs in Enterobacteriaceae co-producing AmpC β-lactamase in the routine diagnostic microbiology laboratories.
PMCID: PMC3461735  PMID: 22960890
AmpC enzyme; β-lactamases; ESBL; Klebsiella pneumoniae; plasmid mediated; resistance
10.  Relationship between adhesion to intestinal Caco-2 cells and multidrug resistance in Klebsiella pneumoniae clinical isolates. 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1997;35(6):1499-1503.
Klebsiella pneumoniae is an opportunistic gram-negative pathogen involved in outbreaks of nosocomial infections in intensive care units. Strains are resistant to multiple antibiotics, and 15 to 30% of them are also resistant to the broad-spectrum cephalosporins by the production of R plasmid-encoded extended-spectrum beta-lactamases. Because the gastrointestinal tracts of patients have been shown to be the reservoir for nosocomial strains of K. pneumoniae, we looked for a correlation between antibiotic resistance and adhesion of K. pneumoniae strains to intestinal cells. We investigated adhesion to the human intestinal epithelial Caco-2 cell line of 61 clinical K. pneumoniae strains isolated in hospitals in Clermont-Ferrand, France. None of the strains tested expressed the previously described adhesive factors CF29K and KPF-28. Adhesive properties were found for 42.6% of the strains tested (26 strains). Just 7.7% (2 strains) of the 26 strains producing only the chromosomally encoded SHV-1 beta-lactamase adhered to the Caco-2 cell line, whereas 68.5% (24 strains) of the 35 strains producing a plasmid-encoded beta-lactamase were adherent. All the adherent strains, and even the two strains producing only the SHV-1 enzyme, harbored at least one self-transmissible R plasmid. At variance for CAZ-1/TEM-5 or CAZ-5/SHV-4 beta-lactamase-producing K. pneumoniae strains, curing and mating experiments demonstrated that the self-transmissible R plasmids encoding the TEM-1, CTX-1/TEM-3, CAZ-2/TEM-8, CAZ-6/TEM-24, or CAZ-7/TEM-16 beta-lactamase were not involved in the adhesion of K. pneumoniae strains to intestinal epithelial cells. Nevertheless, there was an association of multiple antibiotic resistance, including resistance to extended-spectrum cephalosporins, and adhesive properties in K. pneumoniae clinical isolates.
PMCID: PMC229774  PMID: 9163469
11.  In vitro activity of tigecycline and comparators against carbapenem-susceptible and resistant Acinetobacter baumannii clinical isolates in Italy 
In a recent multi-centre Italian survey (2003–2004), conducted in 45 laboratories throughout Italy with the aim of monitoring microorganisms responsible for severe infections and their antibiotic resistance, Acinetobacter baumannii was isolated from various wards of 9 hospitals as one of the most frequent pathogens. One hundred and seven clinically significant strains of A. baumannii isolates were included in this study to determine the in vitro activity of tigecycline and comparator agents.
Tests for the susceptibility to antibiotics were performed by the broth microdilution method as recommended by CLSI guidelines. The following antibiotics were tested: aztreonam, piperacillin/tazobactam, ampicillin/sulbactam, ceftazidime, cefepime, imipenem, meropenem tetracycline, doxycycline, tigecycline, gentamicin, amikacin, ciprofloxacin, colistin, and trimethoprim/sulphametoxazole. The PCR assay was used to determine the presence of OXA, VIM, or IMP genes in the carbapenem resistant strains.
A. baumannii showed widespread resistance to ceftazidime, ciprofloxacin and aztreonam in more than 90% of the strains; resistance to imipenem and meropenem was 50 and 59% respectively, amikacin and gentamicin were both active against about 30% of the strains and colistin about 99%, with only one strain resistant. By comparison with tetracyclines, tigecycline and doxycycline showed a higher activity. In particular, tigecycline showed a MIC90 value of 2 mg/L and our strains displayed a unimodal distribution of susceptibility being indistinctly active against carbapenem-susceptible and resistant strains, these latter possessed OXA-type variant enzymes.
In conclusion, tigecycline had a good activity against the MDR A. baumannii strains while maintaining the same MIC90 of 2 mg/L against the carbapenem-resistant strains.
PMCID: PMC2275293  PMID: 18261233
12.  Isolation of a Klebsiella pneumoniae Isolate of Sequence Type 258 Producing KPC-2 Carbapenemase in Korea 
Carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates producing K. pneumoniae carbapenemases (KPC) were first reported in the USA in 2001, and since then, this infection has been reported in Europe, Israel, South America, and China. In Korea, the first KPC-2-producing K. pneumoniae sequence type (ST) 11 strain was detected in 2010. We report the case of a patient with a urinary tract infection caused by KPC-2-producing K. pneumoniae. This is the second report of a KPC-2-producing K. pneumoniae infection in Korea, but the multilocus sequence type was ST258. The KPC-2-producing isolate was resistant to all tested β-lactams (including imipenem and meropenem), amikacin, tobramycin, ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, but was susceptible to gentamicin, colistin, polymyxin B, and tigecycline. The KPC-2-producing isolate was negative to phenotypic extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) and AmpC detection tests and positive to modified Hodge test and carbapenemase inhibition test with aminophenylboronic acid.
PMCID: PMC3190012  PMID: 22016687
KPC-2; Klebsiella pneumoniae; ST258
13.  Bench-to-bedside review: The role of β-lactamases in antibiotic-resistant Gram-negative infections 
Critical Care  2010;14(3):224.
Multidrug resistance has been increasing among Gram-negative bacteria and is strongly associated with the production of both chromosomal- and plasmid-encoded β-lactamases, whose number now exceeds 890. Many of the newer enzymes exhibit broad-spectrum hydrolytic activity against most classes of β-lactams. The most important plasmid-encoded β-lactamases include (a) AmpC cephalosporinases produced in high quantities, (b) the expanding families of extended-spectrum β-lactamases such as the CTX-M enzymes that can hydrolyze the advanced-spectrum cephalosporins and monobactams, and (c) carbapenemases from multiple molecular classes that are responsible for resistance to almost all β-lactams, including the carbapenems. Important plasmid-encoded carbapenemases include (a) the KPC β-lactamases originating in Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates and now appearing worldwide in pan-resistant Gram-negative pathogens and (b) metallo-β-lactamases that are produced in organisms with other deleterious β-lactamases, causing resistance to all β-lactams except aztreonam. β-Lactamase genes encoding these enzymes are often carried on plasmids that bear additional resistance determinants for other antibiotic classes. As a result, some infections caused by Gram-negative pathogens can now be treated with only a limited number, if any, antibiotics. Because multidrug resistance in Gram-negative bacteria is observed in both nosocomial and community isolates, eradication of these resistant strains is becoming more difficult.
PMCID: PMC2911681  PMID: 20594363
14.  Identification of Extended-Spectrum-β-Lactamase-Positive Klebsiella pneumoniae Urinary Tract Isolates Harboring KPC and CTX-M β-Lactamases in Nonhospitalized Patients 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2013;57(10):5166-5169.
Forty-seven extended-spectrum-β-lactamase-positive Klebsiella pneumoniae urinary tract isolates from nonhospitalized patients were identified, and 79% harbored KPC and/or CTX-M β-lactamases. Approximately 90% of the isolates were resistant to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and levofloxacin, and 40% were resistant to a carbapenem, while 92% were susceptible to polymyxin B, 87% were susceptible to tigecycline, and 79% were susceptible to fosfomycin. Increased use of broader-spectrum antibiotics may help to prevent their dissemination and reduce the risk of progression to invasive disease.
PMCID: PMC3811446  PMID: 23877699
15.  blaKPC and rmtB on a single plasmid in Enterobacter amnigenus and Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates from the same patient 
Enterobacter amnigenus (EA76) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (KP76) isolates with multidrug-resistant (MDR) patterns were identified from the same patient in the neurosurgery department of our hospital. An outbreak of MDR K. pneumoniae had also occurred in this department. To characterize the resistance mechanism and molecular epidemiology of these isolates, sequential experiments including antimicrobial susceptibility testing, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), plasmid analysis, pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) were performed. EA76 and KP76 were resistant to all of the antibiotics tested, except colistin and tigecycline. blaKPC-2, blaTEM-1, blaSHV-12, blaCTX-M-3, blaCTX-M-14, and rmtB genes were identified in both isolates, with blaKPC-2, blaTEM-1, blaCTX-M-14, and rmtB being co-carried on one plasmid in each isolate. Further analysis showed different restriction patterns between the two KPC-carrying plasmids. Of the 11 carbapenem-resistant isolates found in the outbreak, all were resistant to all of the β-lactams tested, with 63.64% (7/11) also exhibiting resistance to aminoglycosides and 72.73% (8/11) exhibiting resistance to quinolones. PCR analysis and molecular typing of the 11 K. pneumoniae strains revealed that the seven aminoglycoside-resistant isolates shared the same antibiotic-resistant gene pattern and identical or one-band-difference PFGE profiles relative to KP76. In addition, all of the eight aminoglycoside-resistant isolates, including KP76, belonged to the national epidemic clone ST11. The overall results indicate the emergence of E. amnigenus and outbreak of ST11 K. pneumoniae, with both co-harboring blaKPC and rmtB genes on a single plasmid in our neurosurgery wards.
PMCID: PMC3364413  PMID: 22237458
16.  Crystal structure of KPC-2 
Biochemistry  2007;46(19):5732-5740.
β-lactamases inactivate β-lactam antibiotics and are a major cause of antibiotic resistance. The recent outbreaks of Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenem-resistant (KPC) infections mediated by KPC type β-lactamases are creating a serious threat to our “last resort” antibiotics, the carbapenems. KPC β-lactamases are thus carbapenemases and are a subclass of Class A β-lactamases that have evolved to efficiently hydrolyze carbapenems and cephamycins which contain substitutions at the α position proximal to the carbonyl group that normally render these β-lactams resistant to hydrolysis. To investigate the molecular basis of this carbapenemase activity, we have determined the structure of KPC-2 at 1.85Å resolution. The active site of KPC-2 reveals the presence of a bicine buffer molecule which interacts via its carboxyl group with conserved active site residues S130, K234, T235, and T237; this likely resembles the interactions the β-lactam carboxyl moiety makes in the Michaelis-Menten complex. Comparison of the KPC-2 structure with non-carbapenemases and previously determined NMC-A and SME-1 carbapenemase structures shows several active site alterations that are unique among carbapenemases. An outward shift of the catalytic S70 residue renders the active sites of the carbapenemases more shallow likely allowing easier access of the bulkier substrates. Further space for the α-substituents is likely provided by shifts in N132 and N170 in addition to concerted movements in the postulated carboxyl binding pocket that might allow the substrates to bind in a slightly different angle to accommodate these α-substituents. The structure of KPC-2 thus provides key insights into the carbapenemase activity of emerging Class A β-lactamases.
PMCID: PMC2596071  PMID: 17441734
17.  OXA-163-Producing Klebsiella pneumoniae in Cairo, Egypt, in 2009 and 2010 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2012;50(7):2489-2491.
Two genetically unrelated OXA-163-carrying Klebsiella pneumoniae strains were identified from two infection cases in June 2009 and May 2010 in Cairo, Egypt. OXA-163-producing Enterobacteriaceae had been previously reported in Argentina only. Both patients had no history of travel abroad. The emergence of this newly recognized OXA-48-related β-lactamase able to hydrolyze cephalosporins and carbapenems is especially worrying in a geographic area where OXA-48 is endemic and effective surveillance for antibiotic resistance is largely unaffordable.
PMCID: PMC3405599  PMID: 22518851
18.  Evaluation of Boronic Acid Disk Tests for Differentiating KPC-Possessing Klebsiella pneumoniae Isolates in the Clinical Laboratory▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2008;47(2):362-367.
The worldwide increase in the occurrence and dissemination of KPC β-lactamases among gram-negative pathogens makes critical the early detection of these enzymes. Boronic acid disk tests using different antibiotic substrates were evaluated for detection of KPC-possessing Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates. A total of 57 genotypically confirmed KPC-possessing K. pneumoniae isolates with varying carbapenem MICs were examined. To measure the specificity of the tests, 106 non-KPC-possessing isolates (89 K. pneumoniae and 17 Escherichia coli isolates) were randomly selected among those exhibiting reduced susceptibility to cefoxitin, expanded-spectrum cephalosporins, or carbapenems. As many as 56, 53, and 40 of the non-KPC-possessing isolates harbored extended-spectrum β-lactamases, metallo-β-lactamases, and plasmid-mediated AmpC β-lactamases, respectively. By use of CLSI methodology and disks containing imipenem, meropenem, or cefepime, either alone or in combination with 400 μg of boronic acid, all 57 KPC producers gave positive results (sensitivity, 100%) whereas all 106 non-KPC producers were negative (specificity, 100%). The meropenem duplicate disk with or without boronic acid demonstrated the largest differences in inhibition zone diameters between KPC producers and non-KPC producers. By use of disks containing ertapenem, all isolates were correctly differentiated except for five AmpC producers that gave false-positive results (sensitivity, 100%; specificity, 95.3%). These practical and simple boronic acid disk tests promise to be very helpful for the accurate differentiation of KPC-possessing K. pneumoniae isolates, even in regions where different broad-spectrum β-lactamases are widespread.
PMCID: PMC2643660  PMID: 19073868
19.  Colonization resistance of the digestive tract in conventional and antibiotic-treated mice 
The Journal of Hygiene  1971;69(3):405-411.
The effect of oral administration of antibiotics on the intestinal flora of conventional mice and their resistance to colonization by orally introduced Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa was studied. Colonization resistance (CR) was expressed as the log of the oral bacterial dose followed by a persistent take in 50% of the contaminated animals. The intestinal flora was virtually eliminated by the antibiotics and this elimination was accompanied by a precipitous fall of CR. CR gradually returned to normal values during the period of repopulation of the intestinal tract by the organisms surviving the treatment. Antibiotic treatment resulted in the disappearance of Enterobacteriaceae, enterococci, staphylococci and yeasts and, under appropriate housing conditions, the animals remained free of these organisms indefinitely. Germ-free mice contaminated with the intestinal flora of an antibiotic-treated animal and their offspring housed in a germ-free isolator showed high values of CR. Their intestinal flora consisted of anaerobic bacteria only. Apparently, these anaerobes are responsible for CR in these and in conventional mice.
PMCID: PMC2130899  PMID: 4999450
20.  Tetracycline Antibiotics: Mode of Action, Applications, Molecular Biology, and Epidemiology of Bacterial Resistance 
Tetracyclines were discovered in the 1940s and exhibited activity against a wide range of microorganisms including gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, chlamydiae, mycoplasmas, rickettsiae, and protozoan parasites. They are inexpensive antibiotics, which have been used extensively in the prophlylaxis and therapy of human and animal infections and also at subtherapeutic levels in animal feed as growth promoters. The first tetracycline-resistant bacterium, Shigella dysenteriae, was isolated in 1953. Tetracycline resistance now occurs in an increasing number of pathogenic, opportunistic, and commensal bacteria. The presence of tetracycline-resistant pathogens limits the use of these agents in treatment of disease. Tetracycline resistance is often due to the acquisition of new genes, which code for energy-dependent efflux of tetracyclines or for a protein that protects bacterial ribosomes from the action of tetracyclines. Many of these genes are associated with mobile plasmids or transposons and can be distinguished from each other using molecular methods including DNA-DNA hybridization with oligonucleotide probes and DNA sequencing. A limited number of bacteria acquire resistance by mutations, which alter the permeability of the outer membrane porins and/or lipopolysaccharides in the outer membrane, change the regulation of innate efflux systems, or alter the 16S rRNA. New tetracycline derivatives are being examined, although their role in treatment is not clear. Changing the use of tetracyclines in human and animal health as well as in food production is needed if we are to continue to use this class of broad-spectrum antimicrobials through the present century.
PMCID: PMC99026  PMID: 11381101
21.  High-Level Carbapenem Resistance in a Klebsiella pneumoniae Clinical Isolate Is Due to the Combination of blaACT-1 β-Lactamase Production, Porin OmpK35/36 Insertional Inactivation, and Down-Regulation of the Phosphate Transport Porin PhoE 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2006;50(10):3396-3406.
Clinical isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae resistant to carbapenems and essentially all other antibiotics (multidrug resistant) are being isolated from some hospitals in New York City with increasing frequency. A highly related pair of K. pneumoniae strains isolated on the same day from one patient in a hospital in New York City were studied for antibiotic resistance. One (KP-2) was resistant to imipenem, meropenem, and sulopenem (MICs of 16 to 32 μg/ml) while the other (KP-1) was susceptible (MIC of 0.5 μg/ml); both contained the blaACT-1, blaSHV-1, and blaTEM-1 β-lactamases. blaACT-1 in both strains was encoded on a large ∼150-kb plasmid. Both isolates contained an identical class 1 integron encoding resistance to aminoglycosides and chloramphenicol. They each had identical insertions in ompK35 and ompK36, resulting in disruption of these key porin genes. The carbapenem-resistant and -susceptible isolates were extensively studied for differences in the structural and regulatory genes for the operons acrRAB, marORAB, romA-ramA, soxRS, micF, micC, phoE, phoBR, rpoS, and hfq. No changes were detected between the isolates except for a significant down-regulation of ompK37, phoB, and phoE in KP-2 as deduced from reverse transcription-PCR analysis of mRNA and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis separation of outer membrane proteins. Backcross analysis was conducted using the wild-type phoE gene cloned into the vector pGEM under regulation of its native promoter as well as the lacZ promoter following transformation into the resistant KP-2 isolate. The wild-type gene reversed carbapenem resistance only when under control of the heterologous lacZ promoter. In the background of ompK35-ompK36 gene disruption, the up-regulation of phoE in KP-1 apparently compensated for porin loss and conferred carbapenem susceptibility. Down-regulation of phoE in KP-2 may represent the normal state of this gene, or it may have been selected from KP-1 in vivo under antibiotic pressure, generating the carbapenem-resistant clone. This is the first study in the Enterobacteriaceae where expression of the phosphate-regulated PhoE porin has been associated with resistance to antimicrobials. Our results with this pair of Klebsiella clinical isolates highlight the complex and evolving nature of multiple drug resistance in this species.
PMCID: PMC1610099  PMID: 17005822
22.  β-Lactamases Responsible for Resistance to Expanded-Spectrum Cephalosporins in Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, and Proteus mirabilis Isolates Recovered in South Africa 
Although resistance to the expanded-spectrum cephalosporins among members of the family Enterobacteriaceae lacking inducible β-lactamases occurs virtually worldwide, little is known about this problem among isolates recovered in South Africa. Isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, and Proteus mirabilis resistant to expanded-spectrum cephalosporins recovered from patients in various parts of South Africa over a 3-month period were investigated for extended-spectrum β-lactamase production. Antibiotic susceptibility was determined by standard disk diffusion and agar dilution procedures. Production of extended-spectrum β-lactamases was evaluated by using the double-disk test, and the β-lactamases were characterized by spectrophotometric hydrolysis assays and an isoelectric focusing overlay technique which simultaneously determined isoelectric points and general substrate or inhibitor characteristics. DNA amplification and sequencing were performed to confirm the identities of these enzymes. The P. mirabilis and E. coli isolates were found to produce TEM-26-type, SHV-2, and SHV-5 extended-spectrum β-lactamases. An AmpC-related enzyme which had a pI of 8.0 and which conferred resistance to cefoxitin as well as the expanded-spectrum cephalosporins was found in a strain of K. pneumoniae. This is the first study which has identified organisms producing different extended-spectrum β-lactamases from South Africa and the first report describing strains of P. mirabilis producing a TEM-26-type enzyme. The variety of extended-spectrum β-lactamases found among members of the family Enterobacteriaceae isolated from major medical centers in South Africa is troubling and adds to the growing list of countries where these enzymes pose a serious problem for antimicrobial therapy.
PMCID: PMC105602  PMID: 9624474
23.  Vancomycin-resistant enterococci exploit antibiotic-induced innate immune deficits 
Nature  2008;455(7214):804-807.
Infection with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), is a dangerous and costly complication of broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy1,2. How antibiotic-mediated elimination of commensal bacteria promotes infection by antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a fertile area for speculation with few defined mechanisms. Here we demonstrate that antibiotic treatment of mice notably downregulates intestinal expression of RegIIIγ (also known as Reg3g), a secreted C-type lectin that kills Gram-positive bacteria, including VRE. Downregulation of RegIIIγ markedly decreases in vivo killing of VRE in the intestine of antibiotic-treated mice. Stimulation of intestinal Toll-like receptor 4 by oral administration of lipopolysaccharide re-induces RegIIIγ, thereby boosting innate immune resistance of antibiotic-treated mice against VRE. Compromised mucosal innate immune defence, as induced by broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy, can be corrected by selectively stimulating mucosal epithelial Toll-like receptors, providing a potential therapeutic approach to reduce colonization and infection by antibiotic-resistant microbes.
PMCID: PMC2663337  PMID: 18724361
24.  Can Results Obtained with Commercially Available MicroScan Microdilution Panels Serve as an Indicator of β-Lactamase Production among Escherichia coli and Klebsiella Isolates with Hidden Resistance to ExpandedSpectrum Cephalosporins and Aztreonam? 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1998;36(9):2575-2579.
Among clinical isolates of Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Klebsiella oxytoca, there is an ever-increasing prevalence of β-lactamases that may confer resistance to newer β-lactam antibiotics that is not detectable by conventional procedures. Therefore, 75 isolates of these species producing well-characterized β-lactamases were studied using two MicroScan conventional microdilution panels, Gram Negative Urine MIC 7 (NU7) and Gram Negative MIC Plus 2 (N+2), to determine if results could be utilized to provide an accurate indication of β-lactamase production in the absence of frank resistance to expanded-spectrum cephalosporins and aztreonam. The enzymes studied included Bush groups 1 (AmpC), 2b (TEM-1, TEM-2, and SHV-1), 2be (extended spectrum β-lactamases [ESBLs] and K1), and 2br, alone and in various combinations. In tests with E. coli and K. pneumoniae and the NU7 panel, cefpodoxime MICs of ≥2 μg/ml were obtained only for isolates producing ESBLs or AmpC β-lactamases. Cefoxitin MICs of >16 μg/ml were obtained for all strains producing AmpC β-lactamase and only 1 of 33 strains producing ESBLs. For the N+2 panel, ceftazidime MICs of ≥4 μg/ml correctly identified 90% of ESBL producers and 100% of AmpC producers among isolates of E. coli and K. pneumoniae. Cefotetan MICs of ≥ 8 μg/ml were obtained for seven of eight producers of AmpC β-lactamase and no ESBL producers. For tests performed with either panel and isolates of K. oxytoca, MICs of ceftazidime, cefotaxime, and ceftizoxime were elevated for strains producing ESBLs, while ceftriaxone and aztreonam MICs separated low-level K1 from high-level K1 producers within this species. These results suggest that microdilution panels can be used by clinical laboratories as an indicator of certain β-lactamases that may produce hidden but clinically significant resistance among isolates of E. coli, K. pneumoniae, and K. oxytoca. Although it may not always be possible to differentiate between strains that produce ESBLs and those that produce AmpC, this differentiation is not critical since therapeutic options for patients infected with such organisms are similarly limited.
PMCID: PMC105165  PMID: 9705395
25.  In Vitro Activities of the Potent, Broad-Spectrum Carbapenem MK-0826 (L-749,345) against Broad-Spectrum β-Lactamase-and Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamase-Producing Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli Clinical Isolates 
An important mechanism of bacterial resistance to β-lactam antibiotics is inactivation by β-lactam-hydrolyzing enzymes (β-lactamases). The evolution of the extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs) is associated with extensive use of β-lactam antibiotics, particularly cephalosporins, and is a serious threat to therapeutic efficacy. ESBLs and broad-spectrum β-lactamases (BDSBLs) are plasmid-mediated class A enzymes produced by gram-negative pathogens, principally Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae. MK-0826 was highly potent against all ESBL- and BDSBL-producing K. pneumoniae and E. coli clinical isolates tested (MIC range, 0.008 to 0.12 μg/ml). In E. coli, this activity was associated with high-affinity binding to penicillin-binding proteins 2 and 3. When the inoculum level was increased 10-fold, increasing the amount of β-lactamase present, the MK-0826 MIC range increased to 0.008 to 1 μg/ml. By comparison, similar observations were made with meropenem while imipenem MICs were usually less affected. Not surprisingly, MIC increases with noncarbapenem β-lactams were generally substantially greater, resulting in resistance in many cases. E. coli strains that produce chromosomal (Bush group 1) β-lactamase served as controls. All three carbapenems were subject to an inoculum effect with the majority of the BDSBL- and ESBL-producers but not the Bush group 1 strains, implying some effect of the plasmid-borne enzymes on potency. Importantly, MK-0826 MICs remained at or below 1 μg/ml under all test conditions.
PMCID: PMC89128  PMID: 10223931

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