Nearly Identical Plasmids Encoding VIM-1 and Mercury Resistance in Enterobacteriaceae from North-Eastern Germany

Microorganisms. 2021 Jun 22;9(7):1345. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms9071345.


The emergence of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae limits therapeutic options and presents a major public health problem. Resistances to carbapenems are mostly conveyed by metallo-beta-lactamases (MBL) including VIM, which are often encoded on resistance plasmids. We characterized four VIM-positive isolates that were obtained as part of a routine diagnostic screening from two laboratories in north-eastern Germany between June and August 2020. Whole-genome sequencing was performed to address (a) phylogenetic properties, (b) plasmid content, and (c) resistance gene carriage. In addition, we performed phenotypic antibiotic and mercury resistance analyses. The genomic analysis revealed three different bacterial species including C. freundii, E. coli and K. oxytoca with four different sequence types. All isolates were geno- and phenotypically multidrug-resistant (MDR) and the phenotypic profile was explained by the underlying resistance gene content. Three isolates of four carried nearly identical VIM-1-resistance plasmids, which in addition encoded a mercury resistance operon and showed some similarity to two publicly available plasmid sequences from sources other than the two laboratories above. Our results highlight the circulation of a nearly identical IncN-type VIM-1-resistance plasmid in different Enterobacteriaceae in north-eastern Germany.

PMID:34206177 | DOI:10.3390/microorganisms9071345