Sci Rep. 2021 Jan 28;11(1):2609. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-82166-8.
New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase (NDM) had been reported to be the predominant carbapenemase among Escherichia coli in Taiwan. However, studies focusing on the clonal background and epidemiology of plasmids carrying NDM genes were limited. Between 2016 and 2018, all clinical E. coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates that were non-susceptible to ertapenem, meropenem, and imipenem were tested for carbapenemase-encoding genes (CEGs) and antimicrobial susceptibilities. Molecular typing was performed on all carbapenemase-producing isolates. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) was performed on all NDM-positive E. coli isolates. Twenty-three (29.5%) of 78 carbapenem non-susceptible E. coli and 108 (35.3%) of 306 carbapenem non-susceptible K. pneumoniae isolates carried CEGs. The most prevalent CEGs in carbapenemase-producing E. coli (CPEc) were blaNDM (39.1%) and blaIMP-8 (30.4%), while that in carbapenemase-producing K. pneumoniae was Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) (72.2%). Fifteen sequence types were identified among 23 CPEc, and 55.6% of NDM-positive E. coli isolates belonged to ST410. WGS showed ST410 isolates were highly clonal and similar to those from other countries. All NDM-5-positive E. coli isolates carried identical IncX3 plasmid harboring blaNDM-5 but no other antimicrobial resistance (AMR) genes. In each of the four NDM-1-positive E. coli isolates, the blaNDM-1 was present in a ∼ 300 kb IncHI2/IncHI2A plasmid which carried an array of AMR genes. NDMs are the most prevalent carbapenemase among CPEc in Taiwan. Awareness should be raised as the prevalence of NDM-positive E. coli might increase rapidly with IncX3 plasmid and globally distributed strain ST410 being the potential vectors for wide dissemination.