Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB) has emerged as an important pathogen causing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in Taiwan. The present study is aimed to investigate the epidemiology of HAIs caused by CRAB and the association of CRAB infection and hospital usage of different antimicrobials.
Two nationwide databases in the period 2003 to 2008, the Taiwan Nosocomial Infection Surveillance System and National Health Insurance claim data, were used for analysis. A total of 13,811 healthcare-associated A. baumannii infections and antimicrobial usage data from 121 hospitals were analyzed.
There was a significant increase in the proportion of number of HAIs caused by CRAB over that by all A. baumannii (CRABpAB), from 14% in 2003 to 46% in 2008 (P<0.0001). The greatest increase was in central Taiwan, from 4% in 2003 to 62% in 2008 (P<0.0001). Use of anti-pseudomonal carbapenems, but not other classes of antibiotics, was significantly correlated with the increase of CRABpAB (r = 0.86, P<0.0001).
We suggested that dedicated use of anti-pseudomonal carbapenems would be an important intervention to control the increase of CRABpAB.
The full-length LysR transcriptional regulator TsaR from C. testosteroni T-2 has been crystallized in two crystal forms and several native and derivative data sets have been collected using synchrotron and in-house X-ray sources.
The full-length LysR-type transcriptional regulator TsaR from Comamonas testosteroni T-2 was heterologously overexpressed in Escherichia coli, purified and stabilized under conditions that favoured its rapid crystallization using the microbatch-under-oil technique. The purified protein was highly crystallizable and two different crystal forms were readily obtained. However, only monoclinic crystals gave diffraction beyond 2 Å and there was a slight variation in unit-cell parameters between crystals. The only other LysR-type regulator for which a full-length crystal form is available is CbnR, but no solution could be obtained when this was used as a model in molecular replacement. Mercury and xenon derivatives were therefore produced in order to phase the structure using a MIRAS approach.
full-length LysR-type regulator; microbatch crystallization; MIRAS phasing
Metallo-β-lactamase (MBL) production usually results in high-level resistance to most β-lactams, and a rapid spread of MBL producing major gram-negative pathogens is a matter of particular concern worldwide. However, clinical data are scarce and most studies compared MBL producer (MP) with MBL non-producer (MNP) strains which included carbapenem susceptible isolates. Therefore, we collected clinical data of patients in whom imipenem-nonsusceptible Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) and Acinetobacter baumannii (AB) were isolated from sputum or urine, and investigated MBL production and the risk factors related with MBL acquisition. The antimicrobial susceptibility patterns were also compared between MPs and imipenem-nonsusceptible MNPs (INMNP). Among the 176 imipenem-nonsusceptible isolates, 12 MPs (6.8%) were identified. There was no identifiable risk factor that contributed to the acquisition of MPs when compared to INMNPs, and case-fatalities were not different between the two groups. The percentage of susceptible isolates was higher among MPs for piperacilin/tazobactam and fluoroquinolones while that of ceftazidime was higher in INMNPs (p < 0.05). As regards to aztreonam, which has been known to be a uniquely stable β-lactam against MBLs, susceptibility was preserved in only two isolates (16.7%) among MPs, and was not higher than that of INMNPs (23.2%). In conclusion, the contribution of MBLs to imipenem non-susceptibility in PA/ABs isolated from sputum and urine was relatively limited, and there was no significant risk factor associated with acquisition of MPs compared with INMNPs. However, limited susceptibility to aztreonam implies that MPs may hold additional resistance mechanisms, such as extended spectrum β-lactamases, AmpC β-lactamases, or other non-enzymatic mechanisms.
Metallo-β-lactamase; risk factor; resistance
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.
The systemic surveillance of imipenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (IRAB) from multicenters in Taiwan revealed the emergence of isolates with blaOXA-72. This study described their genetic makeup, mechanism of spread, and contribution to carbapenem resistance.
Two hundred and ninety-one non-repetitive isolates of A. baumannii were collected from 10 teaching hospitals from different geographical regions in Taiwan from June 2007 to September 2007. Minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) were determined by agar dilution. Clonality was determined by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Plasmid was extracted and digested by restriction enzymes, and subsequently analyzed by electrophoresis and Southern blot for blaOXA-72. The flanking regions of blaOXA-72 were determined by inverse PCR. The contribution of blaOXA-72 to imipenem MIC was determined by transforming plasmids carrying blaOXA-72 into imipenem-susceptible A. baumannii.
Among 142 IRAB in Taiwan, 27 harbored blaOXA-72; 22 originated from Southern Taiwan, 5 from Central Taiwan, and none from Northern Taiwan. There were two major clones. The blaOXA-72 was identified in the plasmids of all isolates. Two genetic structures flanking plasmid-borne blaOXA-72 were identified and shared identical sequences in certain regions; the one described in previous literature was present in only one isolate, and the new one was present in the remaining isolates. Introduction of blaOXA-72 resulted in an increase of imipenem MIC in the transformants. The overexpression of blaOXA-72 mRNA in response to imipenem further supported the contribution of blaOXA-72.
In conclusion, isolates with new plasmid-borne blaOXA-72 were found to be disseminated successfully in Southern Taiwan. The spread of the resistance gene depended on clonal spread and dissemination of a new plasmid. BlaOXA-72 in these isolates directly led to their imipenem-resistance.
Imipenem-resistant; Acinetobacter baumannii; Carbapenemase; BlaOXA-72
Pathogenic bacteria have increasingly been resisting to antimicrobial therapy. Recently, resistance problem has been relatively much worsened in Gram-negative bacilli. Acinetobacter spp. are typical nosocomial pathogens causing infections and high mortality, almost exclusively in compromised hospital patients. Acinetobacter spp. are intrinsically less susceptible to antibiotics than Enterobacteriaceae, and have propensity to acquire resistance. A surveillance study in Korea in 2009 showed that resistance rates of Acinetobacter spp. were very high: to fluoroquinolone 67%, to amikacin 48%, to ceftazidime 66% and to imipenem 51%. Carbapenem resistance was mostly due to OXA type carbapenemase production in A. baumannii isolates, whereas it was due to metallo-β-lactamase production in non-baumannii Acinetobacter isolates. Colistin-resistant isolates were rare but started to be isolated in Korea. Currently, the infection caused by multidrug-resistant A. baumannii is among the most difficult ones to treat. Analysis at tertiary care hospital in 2010 showed that among the 1,085 isolates of Acinetobacter spp., 14.9% and 41.8% were resistant to seven, and to all eight antimicrobial agents tested, respectively. It is known to be difficult to prevent Acinetobacter spp. infection in hospitalized patients, because the organisms are ubiquitous in hospital environment. Efforts to control resistant bacteria in Korea by hospitals, relevant scientific societies and government agencies have only partially been successful. We need concerted multidisciplinary efforts to preserve the efficacy of currently available antimicrobial agents, by following the principles of antimicrobial stewardship.
Acinetobacter baumannii; multidrug resistance; OXA type carbapenemase; metallo-β-lactamase
While some trends in antimicrobial resistance rates are universal, others appear to be unique for specific regions. In Taiwan, the strikingly high prevalence of resistance to macrolides and streptogramin in clinical isolates of gram-positive bacteria correlates with the widespread use of these agents in the medical and farming communities, respectively. The relatively low rate of enterococci that are resistant to glycopeptide does not parallel the high use of glycopeptides and extended-spectrum beta-lactams in hospitals. The evolving problem of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates is substantial, and some unique enzymes have been found. Recently, some gram-negative bacteria (e.g., Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter baumannii) that are resistant to all available antimicrobial agents including carbapenems have emerged.
antimicrobial resistance; Taiwan
Antimicrobial resistance is one of the most challenging issues in modern medicine.
We evaluated the secular trends of the relative frequency of blood isolates and of the pattern of their in vitro antimicrobial susceptibility in our hospital during the last four and a half years.
Overall, the data regarding the relative frequency of blood isolates in our newly founded hospital do not differ significantly from those of hospitals that are functioning for a much longer period of time. A noteworthy emerging problem is the increasing antimicrobial resistance of Gram-negative bacteria, mainly Acinetobacter baumannii and Klebsiella pneumoniae to various classes of antibiotics. Acinetobacter baumannii isolates showed an increase of resistance to amikacin (p = 0.019), ciprofloxacin (p = 0.001), imipenem (p < 0.001), and piperacillin/tazobactam (p = 0.01) between the first and second period of the study.
An alarming increase of the antimicrobial resistance of Acinetobacter baumannii isolates has been noted during our study.
The Tigecycline In Vitro Surveillance in Taiwan (TIST) study, initiated in 2006, is a nationwide surveillance program designed to longitudinally monitor the in vitro activity of tigecycline against commonly encountered drug-resistant bacteria. This study compared the in vitro activity of tigecycline against 3,014 isolates of clinically important drug-resistant bacteria using the standard broth microdilution and disk diffusion methods. Species studied included methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA; n = 759), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE; n = 191), extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli (n = 602), ESBL-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (n = 736), and Acinetobacter baumannii (n = 726) that had been collected from patients treated between 2008 and 2010 at 20 hospitals in Taiwan. MICs and inhibition zone diameters were interpreted according to the currently recommended U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) criteria and the European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST) criteria. The MIC90 values of tigecycline against MRSA, VRE, ESBL-producing E. coli, ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae, and A. baumannii were 0.5, 0.125, 0.5, 2, and 8 μg/ml, respectively. The total error rates between the two methods using the FDA criteria were high: 38.4% for ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae and 33.8% for A. baumannii. Using the EUCAST criteria, the total error rate was also high (54.6%) for A. baumannii isolates. The total error rates between these two methods were <5% for MRSA, VRE, and ESBL-producing E. coli. For routine susceptibility testing of ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae and A. baumannii against tigecycline, the broth microdilution method should be used because of the poor correlation of results between these two methods.
Acinetobacter baumannii strains resistant to all β-lactams, aminoglycosides, and fluoroquinolones have emerged in many medical centers. Potential mechanisms contributing to antimicrobial resistance were investigated in 40 clinical isolates endemic to New York City. The isolates were examined for the presence of various β-lactamases, aminoglycoside-modifying enzymes, and mutations in gyrA and parC. Expression of the genes encoding the β-lactamase AmpC, the efflux systems AdeABC and AbeM, and the OmpA-like porin was also examined by real-time reverse transcription-PCR. No VIM, IMP, KPC, OXA-23-type, OXA-24-type, or OXA-58 β-lactamases were detected, although several isolates had acquired blaSHV-5. Most cephalosporin-resistant isolates had increased levels of expression of ampC and/or had acquired blaSHV-5; however, isolates without these features still had reduced susceptibility to cefepime that was mediated by the AdeABC efflux system. Although most isolates with ISAba1 upstream of the blaOXA-51-like carbapenemase gene were resistant to meropenem, several remained susceptible to imipenem. The presence of aminoglycoside-modifying enzymes and gyrase mutations accounted for aminoglycoside and fluoroquinolone resistance, respectively. The increased expression of adeABC was not an important contributor to aminoglycoside or fluoroquinolone resistance but did correlate with reduced susceptibility to tigecycline. The expression of abeM and ompA and phenotypic changes in OmpA did not correlate with antimicrobial resistance. A. baumannii has become a well-equipped nosocomial pathogen; defining the relative contribution of these and other mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance will require further investigation.
Members of the Acinetobacter calcoaceticus-baumannii (Acb) complex are important opportunistic bacterial pathogens and present significant therapeutic challenges in the treatment of nosocomial infections. In the present study, we investigated the integrons and various genes involved in resistance to carbapenems, aminoglycosides, and fluoroquinolones in 56 imipenem-nonsusceptible Acb complex isolates.
This study included 44 imipenem-nonsusceptible A. baumannii, 10 Acinetobacter genomic species 3, and 2 Acinetobacter genomic species 13TU strains isolated in Daejeon, Korea. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) were determined by Etest. PCR and DNA sequencing were used to identify the genes that potentially contribute to each resistance phenotype.
All A. baumannii isolates harbored the blaOXA-51-like gene, and 21 isolates (47.7%) co-produced OXA-23. However, isolates of Acinetobacter genomic species 3 and 13TU only contained blaIMP-1 or blaVIM-2. Most Acb complex isolates (94.6%) harbored class 1 integrons, armA, and/or aminoglycoside-modifying enzymes (AMEs). Of particular note was the fact that armA and aph(3')-Ia were only detected in A. baumannii isolates, which were highly resistant to amikacin (MIC50≥256) and gentamicin (MIC50≥1,024). In all 44 A. baumannii isolates, resistance to fluoroquinolones was conferred by sense mutations in the gyrA and parC. However, sense mutations in parC were not found in Acinetobacter genomic species 3 or 13TU isolates.
Several differences in carbapenem, aminoglycoside, and fluoroquinolone resistance gene content were detected among Acb complex isolates. However, most Acb complex isolates (87.5%) possessed integrons, carbapenemases, AMEs, and mutations in gyrA. The co-occurrence of several resistance determinants may present a significant threat.
Acinetobacter baumannii; Acinetobacter genomic species; Carbapenemase; Integron
Screening for gastrointestinal colonization with multidrug-resistant nosocomial pathogens is an important component of infection control protocols. In the New York City region, carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae strains, which harbor the KPC carbapenem-hydrolyzing β-lactamase, have rapidly emerged. The potential utility of screening medium, which involved using 10-μg imipenem disks, was investigated. The method of placing a sample from a fecal surveillance culture into broth containing an imipenem disk appeared to have the greatest sensitivity for detecting KPC-producing K. pneumoniae. Gastrointestinal colonization with two other carbapenem-resistant nosocomial pathogens, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter baumannii, was also detected using this method. Placing fecal surveillance specimens into broth containing an imipenem disk is an easy method for screening samples for carbapenem-resistant nosocomial pathogens.
The Tigecycline In Vitro Surveillance in Taiwan (TIST) study, a nationwide, prospective surveillance during 2006 to 2010, collected a total of 7,793 clinical isolates, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) (n = 1,834), penicillin-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae (PRSP) (n = 423), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) (n = 219), extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli (n = 1,141), ESBL-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (n = 1,330), Acinetobacter baumannii (n = 1,645), and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia (n = 903), from different specimens from 20 different hospitals in Taiwan. MICs of tigecycline were determined following the criteria of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST-2011). Among drug-resistant Gram-positive pathogens, all of the PRSP isolates were susceptible to tigecycline (MIC90, 0.03 μg/ml), and only one MRSA isolate (MIC90, 0.5 μg/ml) and three VRE isolates (MIC90, 0.125 μg/ml) were nonsusceptible to tigecycline. Among the Gram-negative bacteria, the tigecycline susceptibility rates were 99.65% for ESBL-producing E. coli (MIC90, 0.5 μg/ml) and 96.32% for ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae (MIC90, 2 μg/ml) when interpreted by FDA criteria but were 98.7% and 85.8%, respectively, when interpreted by EUCAST-2011 criteria. The susceptibility rate for A. baumannii (MIC90, 4 μg/ml) decreased from 80.9% in 2006 to 55.3% in 2009 but increased to 73.4% in 2010. A bimodal MIC distribution was found among carbapenem-susceptible A. baumannii isolates, and a unimodal MIC distribution was found among carbapenem-nonsusceptible A. baumannii isolates. In Taiwan, tigecycline continues to have excellent in vitro activity against several major clinically important drug-resistant bacteria, with the exception of A. baumannii.
Given the propensity for Enterobacteriaceae and clinically significant nonfermentative gram-negative bacilli to acquire antimicrobial resistance, consistent surveillance of the activities of agents commonly prescribed to treat infections arising from these organisms is imperative. This study determined the activities of two fluoroquinolones, levofloxacin and ciprofloxacin, and seven comparative agents against recent clinical isolates of Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii, and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia using two surveillance strategies: 1) centralized in vitro susceptibility testing of isolates collected from 27 hospital laboratories across the United States and 2) analysis of data from The Surveillance Network Database-USA, an electronic surveillance network comprising more than 200 laboratories nationwide. Regardless of the surveillance method, Enterobacteriaceae, P. aeruginosa, and A. baumannii demonstrated similar rates of susceptibility to levofloxacin and ciprofloxacin. Susceptibilities to the fluoroquinolones approached or exceeded 90% for all Enterobacteriaceae except Providencia spp. (≤65%). Approximately 70% of P. aeruginosa and 50% of A. baumanii isolates were susceptible to both fluoroquinolones. Among S. maltophilia isolates, 50% more isolates were susceptible to levofloxacin than to ciprofloxacin. Overall, the rate of ceftazidime nonsusceptibility among Enterobacteriaceae was 8.7%, with fluoroquinolone resistance rates notably higher among ceftazidime-nonsusceptible isolates than ceftazidime-susceptible ones. Multidrug-resistant isolates were present among all species tested but were most prevalent for Klebsiella pneumoniae and Enterobacter cloacae. No gram-negative isolates resistant only to a fluoroquinolone were encountered, regardless of species. Thus, while levofloxacin and ciprofloxacin have maintained potent activity against Enterobacteriaceae, the potential for fluoroquinolone resistance, the apparent association between fluoroquinolone and cephalosporin resistance, and the presence of multidrug resistance in every species examined emphasize the need to maintain active surveillance of resistance patterns among gram-negative bacilli.
The outer membrane proteins responsible for the influx of carbapenem β-lactam antibiotics in the nonfermentative gram-negative pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii are still poorly characterized. Resistance to both imipenem and meropenem in multidrug-resistant clinical strains of A. baumannii is associated with the loss of a heat-modifiable 29-kDa outer membrane protein, designated CarO. The chromosomal locus containing the carO gene was cloned and characterized from different clinical isolates. Only one carO copy, present in a single transcriptional unit, was found in the A. baumannii genome. The carO gene encodes a polypeptide of 247 amino acid residues with a typical N-terminal signal sequence and a predicted transmembrane β-barrel topology. Its absence from different carbapenem-resistant clinical isolates of A. baumannii resulted from the disruption of carO by distinct insertion elements. The overall data thus support the notion that CarO participates in the influx of carbapenem antibiotics in A. baumannii. Moreover, database searches identified the presence of carO homologs only in species of the genera Acinetobacter, Moraxella, and Psychrobacter, disclosing the existence of a novel family of outer membrane proteins restricted to the family Moraxellaceae of the class γ-Proteobacteria.
Over-expression of AdeABC efflux pump stimulated continuously by the mutated AdeRS two component system has been found to result in antimicrobial resistance, even tigecycline (TGC) resistance, in multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (MRAB). Although the insertion sequence, ISAba1, contributes to one of the AdeRS mutations, the detail mechanism remains unclear. In the present study we collected 130 TGC-resistant isolates from 317 carbapenem resistant MRAB (MRAB-C) isolates, and 38 of them were characterized with ISAba1 insertion in the adeS gene. The relationship between the expression of AdeABC efflux pump and TGC resistant was verified indirectly by successfully reducing TGC resistance with NMP, an efflux pump inhibitor. Further analysis showed that the remaining gene following the ISAba1 insertion was still transcribed to generate a truncated AdeS protein by the Pout promoter on ISAba1 instead of frame shift or pre-termination. Through introducing a series of recombinant adeRS constructs into a adeRS knockout strain, we demonstrated the truncated AdeS protein was constitutively produced and stimulating the expression of AdeABC efflux pump via interaction with AdeR. Our findings suggest a mechanism of antimicrobial resistance induced by an aberrant cytoplasmic sensor derived from an insertion element.
The 5th year KONSAR surveillance in 2001 was based on routine test data at 30 participating hospitals. It was of particular interest to find a trend in the resistances of enterococci to vancomycin, of Enterobacteriaceae to the 3rd generation cephalosporin and fluoroquinolone, and of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and acinetobacters to carbapenem. Resistance rates of Gram-positive cocci were: 70% of Staphylococcus aureus to oxacillin; 88% and 16% of Enterococcus faecium to ampicillin and vancomycin, respectively. Seventy-two percent of pneumococci were nonsusceptible to penicillin. The resistance rates of Enterobacteriaceae were: Escherichia coli, 28% to fluoroquinolone; Klebsiella pneumoniae, 27% to ceftazidime, and 20% to cefoxitin; and Enterobacter cloacae, ≥40% to cefotaxime and ceftazidime. The resistance rates of P. aeruginosa were 21% to ceftazidime, 17% to imipenem, and those of the acinetobacters were ≥61% to ceftazidime, aminoglycosides, fluoroquinolone and cotrimoxazole. Thirty-five percent of non-typhoidal salmonellae were ampicillin resistant, and 66% of Haemophilus influenzae were β-lactamase producers. Notable changes over the 1997-2001 period were: increases in vancomycin-resistant E. faecium, and amikacin- and fluoroquinolone-resistant acinetobacters. With the increasing prevalence of resistant bacteria, nationwide surveillance has become more important for optimal patient management, for the control of nosocomial infection, and for the conservation of the newer antimicrobial agents.
Drug Resistance, Microbial; Korea; Vancomycin Resistance; Enterococcus faecium; ESBL; Pseudomonas aeruginosa
There is limited information on the role of penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) in the resistance of Acinetobacter baumannii to β-lactams. This study presents an analysis of the allelic variations of PBP genes in A. baumannii isolates. Twenty-six A. baumannii clinical isolates (susceptible or resistant to carbapenems) from three teaching hospitals in Spain were included. The antimicrobial susceptibility profile, clonal pattern, and genomic species identification were also evaluated. Based on the six complete genomes of A. baumannii, the PBP genes were identified, and primers were designed for each gene. The nucleotide sequences of the genes identified that encode PBPs and the corresponding amino acid sequences were compared with those of ATCC 17978. Seven PBP genes and one monofunctional transglycosylase (MGT) gene were identified in the six genomes, encoding (i) four high-molecular-mass proteins (two of class A, PBP1a [ponA] and PBP1b [mrcB], and two of class B, PBP2 [pbpA or mrdA] and PBP3 [ftsI]), (ii) three low-molecular-mass proteins (two of type 5, PBP5/6 [dacC] and PBP6b [dacD], and one of type 7 (PBP7/8 [pbpG]), and (iii) a monofunctional enzyme (MtgA [mtgA]). Hot spot mutation regions were observed, although most of the allelic changes found translated into silent mutations. The amino acid consensus sequences corresponding to the PBP genes in the genomes and the clinical isolates were highly conserved. The changes found in amino acid sequences were associated with concrete clonal patterns but were not directly related to susceptibility or resistance to β-lactams. An insertion sequence disrupting the gene encoding PBP6b was identified in an endemic carbapenem-resistant clone in one of the participant hospitals.
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.
Beginning in 1992, a sustained outbreak of multiresistant Acinetobacter baumannii infections was noted in our 1,000-bed hospital in Barcelona, Spain, resulting in considerable overuse of imipenem, to which the organisms were uniformly susceptible. In January 1997, carbapenem-resistant (CR) A. baumannii strains emerged and rapidly disseminated in the intensive care units (ICUs), prompting us to conduct a prospective investigation. It was an 18-month longitudinal intervention study aimed at the identification of the clinical and microbiological epidemiology of the outbreak and its response to a multicomponent infection control strategy. From January 1997 to June 1998, clinical samples from 153 (8%) of 1,836 consecutive ICU patients were found to contain CR A. baumannii. Isolates were verified to be A. baumannii by restriction analysis of the 16S-23S ribosomal genes and the intergenic spacer region. Molecular typing by repetitive extragenic palindromic sequence-based PCR and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis showed that the emergence of carbapenem resistance was not by the selection of resistant mutants but was by the introduction of two new epidemic clones that were different from those responsible for the endemic. Multivariate regression analysis selected those patients with previous carriage of CR A. baumannii (relative risk [RR], 35.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 7.2 to 173.1), those patients who had previously received therapy with carbapenems (RR, 4.6; 95% CI, 1.3 to 15.6), or those who were admitted into a ward with a high density of patients infected with CR A. baumannii (RR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.2 to 2.5) to be at a significantly greater risk for the development of clinical colonization or infection with CR A. baumannii strains. In accordance, a combined infection control strategy was designed and implemented, including the sequential closure of all ICUs for decontamination, strict compliance with cross-transmission prevention protocols, and a program that restricted the use of carbapenem. Subsequently, a sharp reduction in the incidence rates of infection or colonization with A. baumannii, whether resistant or susceptible to carbapenems, was shown, although an alarming dominance of the carbapenem-resistant clones was shown at the end of the study.
The clonal spread of Acinetobacter baumannii is a global problem, and carbapenems, such as imipenem, remain the first-choice agent against A. baumannii. Using synergy to enhance the antibiotic activity of carbapenems could be useful. Here, amlodipine (AML) was tested alone and with imipenem against A. baumannii isolates.
Forty-two isolates of A. baumannii were collected. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) assessed the genetic relationship of the isolates. The resistance phenotypes were determined using disc diffusion. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of the drugs were determined by broth microdilution. The combined effects of the drugs were determined by a checkerboard procedure. Metallo-β-lactamase (MBL) was determined using the MBL Etest.
Forty-two A. baumannii isolates were collected from 42 patients who were mostly older than 65 years and had long inpatient stays (≥7 days). A. baumannii was mostly recovered from the respiratory system (N = 35, 83.3%). Most patients (N = 27, 64.3%) received care in intensive care units (ICUs). Disc diffusion testing demonstrated that A. baumannii susceptibility to polymyxin B was 100%, while susceptibility to other antimicrobial agents was less than 30%, classifying the isolates into 10 MDR and 32 XDR strains. MLST grouped the A. baumannii isolates into 4 existing STs and 6 new STs. STn4 carried allele G1, with a T → C mutation at nt3 on the gpi111 locus. STn5 carried allele A1, possessing A → C mutations at nt156 and nt159 on the gltA1 locus. ST195 and ST208 accounted for 68.05% (29/42) of the isolates. Clonal relation analysis showed that ST195 and ST208 belonged to clonal complex (CC) 92. The inhibitory concentration of imipenem ranged from 0.5 to 32 μg/ml, and that of AML ranged from 40 to 320 μg/ml. In combination, the susceptibility rate of A. baumannii isolates increased from 16.7% to 54.8% (P = 0.001). In the checkerboard procedure, half of the isolates (N = 21, 50.0%) demonstrated synergy or partial synergy with the drug combination. The MBL Etest revealed that 1 A. baumannii strain (N = 1, 2.4%) produced MBL.
CC92 was the major clone spreading in our hospital. AML improved the activity of imipenem against A. baumannii isolates in vitro but did not inhibit MBL.
Acinetobacter baumannii; MLST; Imipenem; Amlodipine
Acinetobacter baumannii has emerged as a major nosocomial pathogen worldwide. Many of the circulating strains exhibit multi-drug resistance remaining consistently susceptible only to polymyxins. In-vitro studies have reported that polymyxins combined with carbapenems, rifampicin or azithromycin are synergistic against these strains despite in-vitro resistance to these agents alone. The use of antimicrobial combinations have therefore been advocated for the treatment of severe A. baumannii infection in man. In order to determine whether such combinations are synergistic against the prevalent clones of multi-drug resistant A. baumannii causing infection in the UK, we performed synergy testing against representative isolates using two rapid Etest methods.
The activity of polymyxin in combination with imipenem, azithromycin or rifampicin was assessed against five strains of multi-drug resistant A. baumannii encoding OXA-23 carbapenemases. Synergy studies were performed by Etest-agar dilution and a combined Etest strip method. Synergy was defined as a FICI of ≤ 0.5.
All strains were resistant to β-lactams, carbapenems, quinolones and aminoglycosides but susceptible to polymyxins. Marked synergy was not seen with polymyxin in combination with imipenem, rifampicin or azithromycin against any of the strains. Borderline synergy (FICI = 0.5) was seen against one strain belonging to OXA-23 clonal group 2, using the Etest-agar dilution method only.
In-vitro synergy with polymxyin in combination with imipenem, rifampicin or azithromycin is highly strain and method dependent. As reliable synergy could not be demonstrated against the prevalent UK multi-drug resistant strains, use of such combinations should not be used for empirical treatment of these infections in the UK. The optimal treatment for serious multi-drug A. baumannii infection and the role of combination therapy should be addressed in a prospective clinical trial.
From January 1996 to December 1997, 200 isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae recovered from 200 patients treated at National Taiwan University Hospital were serotyped and their susceptibilities to 16 antimicrobial agents were determined by the agar dilution method. Sixty-one percent of the isolates were nonsusceptible to penicillin, exhibiting either intermediate resistance (28%) or high-level resistance (33%). About two-fifths of the isolates displayed intermediate or high-level resistance to cefotaxime, ceftriaxone, cefepime, imipenem, and meropenem. Extremely high proportions of the isolates were resistant to erythromycin (82%), clarithromycin (90%), and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMZ) (87%). Among the isolates nonsusceptible to penicillin, 23.8% were resistant to imipenem; more than 60% displayed resistance to cefotaxime, ceftriaxone, cefepime, and carbapenems; 96.7% were resistant to erythromycin; and 100% were resistant to TMP-SMZ. All isolates were susceptible to rifampin and vancomycin. The MICs at which 50% and 90% of the isolates were inhibited were 0.12 and 1 μg/ml, respectively, for cefpirome, and 0.12 and 0.25 μg/ml, respectively, for moxifloxacin. Six serogroups or serotypes (23F, 19F, 6B, 14, 3, and 9) accounted for 77.5% of all isolates. Overall, 92.5% of the isolates were included in the serogroups or serotypes represented in the 23-valent pneumococcal vaccine. The incidence of macrolide and TMP-SMZ resistance for S. pneumoniae isolates in Taiwan in this study is among the highest in the world published to date.
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.
Background & objectives :
Acinetobacter baumannii is a Gram-negative, cocco-bacillus aerobic pathogen responsible for nosocomial infections in hospitals. In the recent past A. baumannii 0had developed resistance against β-lactams, even against carbapenems. Penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) are crucial for the cell wall biosynthesis during cell proliferation and these are the target for β-lactams. Therefore, the present study was carried out to identify the PBPs in three (low, intermediate and high MICs) groups of carbapenem resistant isolates strains of A. baumannii.
ATCC 19606 and 20 β-lactam resistant isolates of A. baumannii were obtained. Selective identification of the PBPs was done using Bocillin FL, a non-radioactive fluorescent derivative of penicillin.
The fluorescence emission from Bocillin-tag in SDS-PAGE gel of native strain identified eight PBPs, with apparent molecular weight of 94, 65, 49, 40, 30, 24, 22 and 17 kDa, however, these PBPs revealed alteration in carbapenem-resistant isolates.
Interpretation & conclusions:
A comparative analysis of PBPs in the resistant isolates with those of ATCC revealed a decreased expression of all PBPs except that of 65 and 17 kDa PBPs which were marginally downregulated, and simultaneous appearance of new 28 kDa PBP (in low and intermediate resistant isolates) and 36 kDa in high meropenem resistant group of A. baumannii. The present study indicated an association between alteration in PBPs and β-lactam resistance in A. baumannii.
Acinetobacter baumannii; Bocillin FL; β-lactam resistance; penicillin-binding proteins