September 22, 2019  |  

Emergence of a novel mobile colistin resistance gene, mcr-8, in NDM-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae.

The rapid increase in carbapenem resistance among gram-negative bacteria has renewed focus on the importance of polymyxin antibiotics (colistin or polymyxin E). However, the recent emergence of plasmid-mediated colistin resistance determinants (mcr-1, -2, -3, -4, -5, -6, and -7), especially mcr-1, in carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae is a serious threat to global health. Here, we characterized a novel mobile colistin resistance gene, mcr-8, located on a transferrable 95,983-bp IncFII-type plasmid in Klebsiella pneumoniae. The deduced amino-acid sequence of MCR-8 showed 31.08%, 30.26%, 39.96%, 37.85%, 33.51%, 30.43%, and 37.46% identity to MCR-1, MCR-2, MCR-3, MCR-4, MCR-5, MCR-6, and MCR-7, respectively. Functional cloning indicated that the acquisition of the single mcr-8 gene significantly increased resistance to colistin in both Escherichia coli and K. pneumoniae. Notably, the coexistence of mcr-8 and the carbapenemase-encoding gene blaNDM was confirmed in K. pneumoniae isolates of livestock origin. Moreover, BLASTn analysis of mcr-8 revealed that this gene was present in a colistin- and carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae strain isolated from the sputum of a patient with pneumonia syndrome in the respiratory intensive care unit of a Chinese hospital in 2016. These findings indicated that mcr-8 has existed for some time and has disseminated among K. pneumoniae of both animal and human origin, further increasing the public health burden of antimicrobial resistance.


September 22, 2019  |  

Heterogeneous and flexible transmission of mcr-1 in hospital-associated Escherichia coli.

The recent emergence of a transferable colistin resistance mechanism, MCR-1, has gained global attention because of its threat to clinical treatment of infections caused by multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria. However, the possible transmission route of mcr-1 among Enterobacteriaceae species in clinical settings is largely unknown. Here, we present a comprehensive genomic analysis of Escherichia coli isolates collected in a hospital in Hangzhou, China. We found that mcr-1-carrying isolates from clinical infections and feces of inpatients and healthy volunteers were genetically diverse and were not closely related phylogenetically, suggesting that clonal expansion is not involved in the spread of mcr-1 The mcr-1 gene was found on either chromosomes or plasmids, but in most of the E. coli isolates, mcr-1 was carried on plasmids. The genetic context of the plasmids showed considerable diversity as evidenced by the different functional insertion sequence (IS) elements, toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems, heavy metal resistance determinants, and Rep proteins of broad-host-range plasmids. Additionally, the genomic analysis revealed nosocomial transmission of mcr-1 and the coexistence of mcr-1 with other genes encoding ß-lactamases and fluoroquinolone resistance in the E. coli isolates. These findings indicate that mcr-1 is heterogeneously disseminated in both commensal and pathogenic strains of E. coli, suggest the high flexibility of this gene in its association with diverse genetic backgrounds of the hosts, and provide new insights into the genome epidemiology of mcr-1 among hospital-associated E. coli strains. IMPORTANCE Colistin represents one of the very few available drugs for treating infections caused by extensively multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria. The recently emergent mcr-1 colistin resistance gene threatens the clinical utility of colistin and has gained global attention. How mcr-1 spreads in hospital settings remains unknown and was investigated by whole-genome sequencing of mcr-1-carrying Escherichia coli in this study. The findings revealed extraordinary flexibility of mcr-1 in its spread among genetically diverse E. coli hosts and plasmids, nosocomial transmission of mcr-1-carrying E. coli, and the continuous emergence of novel Inc types of plasmids carrying mcr-1 and new mcr-1 variants. Additionally, mcr-1 was found to be frequently associated with other genes encoding ß-lactams and fluoroquinolone resistance. These findings provide important information on the transmission and epidemiology of mcr-1 and are of significant public health importance as the information is expected to facilitate the control of this significant antibiotic resistance threat. Copyright © 2018 Shen et al.


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