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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2008 Apr;52(4):1252-6. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01304-07. Epub 2008 Jan 14.

Acinetobacter radioresistens as a silent source of carbapenem resistance for Acinetobacter spp.

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  • 1Service de Bactériologie-Virologie, INSERM U914, Emerging Resistance to Antibiotics, Hôpital de Bicêtre, Assistance Publique/Hôpitaux de Paris, Université Paris XI, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, France.


Carbapenem resistance results mostly from the expression of acquired carbapenem-hydrolyzing oxacillinases in Acinetobacter baumannii. The bla OXA-23 oxacillinase gene is increasingly reported worldwide and may represent an emerging threat. Our goal was to identify the progenitor of that carbapenemase gene. A collection of 50 Acinetobacter sp. strains corresponding to several Acinetobacter species was screened for bla(OXA-23)-like genes by PCR and hybridization techniques. Five Acinetobacter radioresistens isolates that were susceptible to carbapenems harbored chromosomally encoded bla OXA-23-like genes. A similar plasmid backbone was identified in several bla OXA-23-positive A. baumannii and A. radioresistens isolates, further strengthening the vectors of exchanges for these bla OXA-23-like genes. Therefore, A. radioresistens, a commensal bacterial species which is identified on the skin of hospitalized and healthy patients (a property shared with A. baumannii), was identified as the source of the bla OXA-23 gene.

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