Background: The worldwide spread of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) has reduced the clinical utility of carbapenems. Plasmids often play an important role in the spread of genes encoding drug-resistance factors, especially in the horizontal transfer of these genes among species of Enterobacteriaceae. This study describes a patient infected with three species of CPE carrying an identical transferrable IncL/M plasmid. Methods: Clinical isolates of CPE were collected at St. Luke’s International Hospital, Tokyo, Japan, from 2015 to 2019. Three species of CPE isolates, Enterobacter cloacae, Klebsiella aerogenes and Serratia marcescens, were isolated from a patient who developed severe gallstone pancreatitis associated with bloodstream infection, with all three isolates producing IMP-1 metallo-β-lactamase. The complete sequences of the plasmids of the three isolates were determined by both MiSeq and MinION. The medical chart of this patient was retrospectively reviewed conducted to obtain relevant clinical information. Results: The three CPE species carried an IncL/M plasmid, pSL264, which was 81,133 bp in size and harbored blaIMP-1. The genetic environment surrounding blaIMP-1 consisted of int1-blaIMP-1-aac(6’)-IIc-qacL-qacEdelta1-sul1-istB-IS21. Conjugation experiments showed that S. marcescens could transmit the plasmid to E. cloacae and K. aerogenes. In contrast, pSL264 could not transfer from E. cloacae or K. aerogenes to S. marcescens. Conclusion: The IncL/M plasmid pSL264 harboring blaIMP-1 was able to transfer among different species of Enterobacteriaceae in a patient receiving long-term antimicrobial treatment. The worldwide emergence and spread of IncL/M plasmids harboring carbapenemase-encoding genes among species of Enterobacteriaceae is becoming a serious public health hazard.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases