Spread and exchange of bla NDM-1 in hospitalized neonates: role of mobilizable genetic elements

  • S. Datta
  • S. Mitra
  • P. Chattopadhyay
  • T. Som
  • S. Mukherjee
  • S. BasuEmail author
Original Article


To investigate the mobilizable elements associated with bla NDM-1 in Enterobacteriaceae isolated from septicaemic neonates at a NICU in India, during December, 2008–2011. An attempt was also made to understand whether there was a pattern in the temporal acquisition of bla NDM-1 within the unit. Transferability of carbapenem resistance was tested by conjugation and transformation. Plasmid types and addiction systems were analysed. The genetic background of bla NDM-1 and association with class 1 integron were evaluated by PCR mapping. RFLP was carried out to discriminate plasmids of same incompatibility group. Transfer of carbapenem resistance was successful in 13/15 cases. bla NDM-1 was associated with different plasmid scaffolds (IncFII, IncL/M, IncN, IncR, IncHIB-M/FIB-M), IncF type being the prevalent one. Addiction systems ccdAB and hok/sok were associated with transferable plasmids. Genetic structures surrounding bla NDM-1 showed its association with at least a remnant of ISAba125 at its 5′-end. The spread of NDM-1 was not related to class 1 integron which possessed resistance determinants against trimethoprim (dfrA12, dfrA1, dfrA5), streptomycin (aadA2, aacA4), and rifampicin (arr-3). RFLP showed that three isolates possessed the same FII/FIIs plasmid; two of these three isolates were from a single neonate, implying interspecies transfer of bla NDM-1. The predominance of FII plasmids and ISAba125 along with bla NDM-1 was noted, but no specific pattern in the temporal acquisition of mobile genetic elements could be identified. To the best of our knowledge, this report is the first to inform the in-vivo interspecies plasmid transfer event of bla NDM-1 in a neonate.


Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Meropenem Colistin Mobile Genetic Element Ertapenem 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Compliance with ethical standards


The study was partially supported by Department of Science & Technology, West Bengal research grant and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) intramural fund. Saswati Datta and Shravani Mitra were supported by fellowships from ICMR and Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) respectively.

Conflict of interest

All authors report no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

The study protocol was carefully reviewed and approved by the Institutional Ethics Committee of the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (Indian Council of Medical Research) (No. C-48/2010 T & E, No. C-48/2011- T & E, and No. A-1/2016-IEC respectively).

Informed consent

Individual informed consent was waived because this study used currently existing samples collected during the course of routine diagnosis of sepsis and did not pose any additional risks to the patients. The patient records/information were anonymized and de-identified prior to analysis.

Supplementary material

10096_2016_2794_MOESM1_ESM.docx (15 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 15 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Datta
    • 1
  • S. Mitra
    • 1
  • P. Chattopadhyay
    • 2
  • T. Som
    • 2
  • S. Mukherjee
    • 2
  • S. Basu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of BacteriologyNational Institute of Cholera and Enteric DiseasesKolkataIndia
  2. 2.Department of Neonatology, Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & ResearchSSKM HospitalKolkataIndia

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