Microevolution of acquired colistin resistance in Enterobacteriaceae from ICU patients receiving selective decontamination of the digestive tract.

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
A. B. JanssenWillem van Schaik


Colistin is an antibiotic that targets the lipopolysaccharides present in the membranes of Gram negative bacteria. It is used as last resort drug to treat infections with multidrug resistant strains. Colistin is also used in selective decontamination of the digestive tract (SDD), a prophylactic therapy used in patients hospitalised in intensive care units (ICUs) to selectively eradicate opportunistic pathogens in the oropharyngeal and gut microbiota. In this study, we aimed to unravel the mechanisms of acquired colistin resistance in Gram negative opportunistic pathogens obtained from SDD treated patients. Routine surveillance of 428 SDD-treated patients resulted in thirteen strains with acquired colistin resistance (Escherichia coli n=9; Klebsiella aerogenes, n=3; Enterobacter asburiae, n=1) from five patients. Genome sequence analysis showed that these isolates represented multiple distinct colistin resistant clones, but that within the same patients, colistin-resistant strains were clonally related. We identified previously described mechanisms that lead to colistin resistance, i.e. a G53 substitution in the response regulator PmrA/BasR, and the acquisition of the mobile colistin resistance gene mcr 1.1, but we also observed...Continue Reading

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