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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2001 Aug;45(8):2324-30.

Molecular characterization of chromosomal class C beta-lactamase and its regulatory gene in Ochrobactrum anthropi.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Bactériologie, Hôpital Tenon, UFR Saint-Antoine, Paris, France.


Ochrobactrum anthropi, formerly known as CDC group Vd, is an oxidase-producing, gram-negative, obligately aerobic, non-lactose-fermenting bacillus of low virulence that occasionally causes human infections. It is highly resistant to all beta-lactams except imipenem. A clinical isolate, SLO74, and six reference strains were tested. MICs of penicillins, aztreonam, and most cephalosporins tested, including cefotaxime and ceftazidime, were >128 microg/ml and of cefepime were 64 to >128 microg/ml. Clavulanic acid was ineffective and tazobactam had a weak effect in association with piperacillin. Two genes, ampR and ampC, were cloned by inserting restriction fragments of genomic DNA from the clinical strain O. anthropi SLO74 into pBK-CMV to give the recombinant plasmid pBK-OA1. The pattern of resistance to beta-lactams of this clone was similar to that of the parental strain, except for its resistance to cefepime (MIC, 0.5 ,micro/ml). The deduced amino acid sequence of the AmpC beta-lactamase (pI, 8.9) was only 41 to 52% identical to the sequence of other chromosomally encoded and plasmid-encoded class C beta-lactamases. The kinetic properties of this beta-lactamase were typical for this class of beta-lactamases. Upstream from the ampC gene, the ampR gene encodes a protein with a sequence that is 46 to 62% identical to those of other AmpR proteins and with an amino-terminal DNA-binding domain typical of transcriptional activators of the Lys-R family. The deduced amino acid sequences of the ampC genes of the six reference strains were 96 to 99% identical to the sequence of the clinical strain. The beta-lactamase characterized from strain SLO74 was named OCH-1 (gene, bla(OCH-I)).

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