Analysis of a novel class 1 integron containing metallo-β-lactamase gene VIM-2 in Pseudomonas aeruginosa
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Carbapenems such as imipenem are stable to most β-lactamases. Recently, increased numbers of carbapenemase producing Gram-negative bacterial strains have been isolated because of the increased use of cabapenems. In this respect, control of these infectious carbapenemase producing Gram-negative bacteria and understanding their resistance mechanism are becoming more important. These carbapenem-hydrolyzing β-lactamase genes have been reported to exist mostly as gene cassettes in an integron. This implies that antibiotic resistance genes may be transferred to other bacteria via the integron. In the present study, we identified and analyzed an integron containing VIM-2 type metallo-β-lactamase gene in a carbapenemase producing Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In addition, the possibility of resistance spread by integron located in a plasmid was tested. Among glucose non-fermenting Gram-negative bacilli with reduced imipenem susceptibility (MIC≥8 μg/ml) isolated from Korean patients, P. aeruginosa 1082 showed resistance to most β-lactams, cephalosporin, and aminoglycoside. We found that P. aeruginosa 1082 was inhibited by EDTA in EDTA double disk synergy test which means that this strain produces metallo-β-lactamase. Class 1 integron containing bla VIM-2 (carbapenem resistance gene), qacF (quaternary ammonium compound resistance gene), aacA4 (aminoglycoside resistance gene), catB3 (chloramphenicol resistance gene), bla oxa-30 (extended-spectrum β-lactam resistance gene), and aadAl (aminoglycoside resistance gene) gene cassettes was detected in P. aeruginosa 1082. The size of the integron was 5,246 bp and the structure and arrangement of the integron was a novel one in comparison with other integrons found in other P. aeruginosa. The integron could be transferred to Escherichia coli JM109 from P. aeruginosa 1082 possibly via self-transferable plasmid DNA. The integron and a bla VIM-2 gene were detected in the plasmid DNA of the transconjugants whose imipenem resistance was slightly increased as a result of accepting the integron from the donor strain.
KeywordsblaVIM-2 Class 1 integron P. aeruginosa
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