Evolution of multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii isolates obtained from elderly patients with respiratory tract infections

Miren J Canduela, Lucía Gallego, Elena Sevillano, Cristina Valderrey, Felícitas Calvo, Julia Pérez
Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 2006, 57 (6): 1220-2

OBJECTIVES: To study the evolution between 1999 and 2002 and mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in a multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii clone predominant in isolates from elderly patients with respiratory tract infections.

METHODS: Susceptibility to antimicrobials was determined using an agar dilution method. Bacterial clones were identified by PCR-fingerprinting and PFGE with ApaI. Carbapenemases were detected by phenotypic tests; by PCR with primers specific for bla (OXA-40), bla(IMP), bla(VIM-1) and bla(VIM-2); and by hybridization with DNA probes. Class 1 integrons were detected using PCR.

RESULTS: In 1999 isolates were grouped into two main genotypes: clone I (33%) and clone II (55%). These were also detected in 2002 with a different distribution: clone I (69%), clone II (22%). Resistance to amikacin, meropenem and imipenem increased significantly in clone I over this time, whereas clone II was not affected. In 2002, the incidence of bla(OXA-40) rose to 91% in clone I isolates with some also harbouring bla(VIM-2) and bla(IMP) genes. Different class 1 integrons were detected ranging in size from 550 to 1200 bp. No relationship was found between carbapenemases and class 1 integrons.

CONCLUSIONS: In elderly patients, a single clone became predominant among A. baumannii isolates, coinciding with an increase in antibiotic resistance rates. The majority of isolates harboured the bla(OXA-40) carbapenemase gene and some of them also harboured bla(VIM-2) and bla(IMP) genes. The presence of class 1 integrons also increased over time.

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