J Antimicrob Chemother. 2021 May 3:dkab131. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkab131. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Recent studies indicated that the monosubstituted deoxystreptamine aminoglycoside apramycin is a potent antibiotic against a wide range of MDR Gram-negative pathogens.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the in vitro activity of apramycin against carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (CRKp) isolates from New York and New Jersey, and to explore mechanisms of apramycin resistance.
METHODS: Apramycin MICs were determined by broth microdilution for 155 CRKp bloodstream isolates collected from 2013 to 2018. MLST STs, wzi capsular types and apramycin resistance gene aac(3')-IV were examined by PCR and Sanger sequencing. Selected isolates were further characterized by conjugation experiments and WGS.
RESULTS: Apramycin MIC50/90 values were 8 and >128 mg/L for CRKp isolates, which are much higher than previously reported. Twenty-four isolates (15.5%) were apramycin resistant (MIC ≥64 mg/L) and they were all from the K. pneumoniae ST258 background. The 24 apramycin-resistant K. pneumoniae ST258 strains belonged to six different capsular types and 91.7% of them harboured the apramycin resistance gene aac(3')-IV. Sequencing analysis showed that different ST258 capsular type strains shared a common non-conjugative IncR plasmid, co-harbouring aac(3')-IV and blaKPC. A novel IncR and IncX3 cointegrate plasmid, p59494-RX116.1, was also identified in an ST258 strain, demonstrating how apramycin resistance can be spread from a non-conjugative plasmid through cointegration.
CONCLUSIONS: We described a high apramycin resistance rate in clinical CRKp isolates in the New York/New Jersey region, mainly among the epidemic K. pneumoniae ST258 strains. The high resistance rate in an epidemic K. pneumoniae clone raises concern regarding the further optimization and development of apramycin and apramycin-like antibiotics.