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Molecular Characterization of the First Emerged NDM-1-Producing Pseudomonas aeruginosa Isolates in South Korea
Microbial Drug Resistance  (IF3.431),  Pub Date : 2021-08-12, DOI: 10.1089/mdr.2020.0374
Jun Sung Hong, Wonkeun Song, Min-Jeong Park, Seri Jeong, Nuri Lee, Seok Hoon Jeong

Carbapenemase-producing Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CPPA) is a threat to public health. This study aimed to describe the first emergence and molecular characterization of NDM-1-producing P. aeruginosa in South Korea. A total of 183 carbapenem-resistant P. aeruginosa (CRPA) isolates were recovered from patients at a university hospital in Seoul, South Korea. The antimicrobial resistance genes and their genetic environments were determined through molecular sequencing. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed using the VITEK 2 system and broth microdilution method. Genetic relatedness was assessed using multilocus sequence typing and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) was carried out to analyze the entire genome of a CPPA isolated from the index patient; the first identified infected patient. All 16 CPPA isolates from the 183 CRPA carried the blaNDM-1 gene and exhibited a high level of resistance to β-lactams, aminoglycosides, and ciprofloxacin. Fifteen of the 16 isolates were recovered from urine samples. They were attributed to ST773 and showed high clonal similarity (>86%). Post-WGS analysis revealed that the blaNDM-1 gene and the 16S rRNA methyltransferase gene rmtB4 were located in the integrative and conjugative element (ICE) on the chromosome. This ICE6660-like region was very similar to the ICE6660 region carrying the blaNDM-1 gene and the 16S rRNA methyltransferase gene rmtD3 in a previously described P. aeruginosa strain. This study described the first emergence and clonal spread of the NDM-1-producing P. aeruginosa ST773 isolates possessing rmtB4, at a university hospital in South Korea, suggesting that continuous surveillance is necessary to prevent infection and transmission of these CRPAs, which can endanger public health.