Corynebacterium striatum is an emerging multidrug-resistant (MDR) pathogen of immunocompromised and chronically ill patients. The objective of these studies was to provide a detailed genomic analysis of disease-causing C. striatum and determine the genomic drivers of resistance and resistance-gene transmission.A multi-institutional and prospective pathogen genomics programme flagged seven MDR C. striatum infections occurring close in time, and specifically in immunocompromised patients with underlying respiratory diseases. Whole genome sequencing was used to identify clonal relationships among strains, genetic causes of antimicrobial resistance, and their mobilization capacity. Matrix-assisted linear desorption/ionization-time-of-flight analyses of sequenced isolates provided curated content to improve rapid clinical identification in subsequent cases.Epidemiological and genomic analyses identified a related cluster of three out of seven C. striatum among lung transplant patients who had common procedures and exposures at an outlying institution. Genomic analyses further elucidated drivers of the MDR phenotypes, including resistance genes mobilized by IS3504 and ISCg9a-like insertion sequences. Seven mobilizable resistance genes were localized to a common chromosomal region bounded by unpaired insertion sequences, suggesting that a single recombination event could spread resistance to aminoglycosides, macrolides, lincosamides and tetracyclines to naive strains.In-depth genomic studies of MDR C. striatum reveal its capacity for clonal spread within and across healthcare institutions and identify novel vectors that can mobilize multiple forms of drug resistance, further complicating efforts to treat infections in immunocompromised populations. Copyright © 2018 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. All rights reserved.
Journal: Clinical microbiology and infection