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Microb Drug Resist. 2002 Fall;8(3):193-200.

Clonal diversity and metallo-beta-lactamase production in clinical isolates of Stenotrophomonas maltophilia.

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Centre d'Ingénierie des Protéines, Université de Liege, Belgium.


Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is a nosocomial pathogen with an intrinsic broad-spectrum resistance to beta-lactam compounds and other antibacterial agents. It produces two chromosomal beta-lactamases: a clavulanic acid-sensitive class A (L2) and a tetrameric carbapenemase (L1 or BlaS). We screened 40 S. maltophilia multidrug-resistant clinical isolates recovered between 1995 and 1998 in the Varese Hospital (Italy) for the presence of the metallo-beta-lactamase. The isolates were investigated by phenotypic profiling (enzymatic activity and antibiotic resistance pattern) and molecular methods such as PCR and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) to reveal intraspecies diversity. For the tested S. maltophilia strains, we showed that the beta-lactamase production could be induced by the presence of imipenem (50 microg/ml) in the culture media. Addition of 1 mM dipicolinic acid completely inhibited the hydrolysis of imipenem but decreased that nitrocefin in a strain-dependent manner. Full activity of crude extract towards imipenem could be restored by addition of 1 mM ZnCl2. Finally, the gene encoding the carbapenem-hydrolyzing beta-lactamase from S. maltophilia ULA-511 and 39/95, a clinical strain, were isolated and sequenced. These two strains have a different profile of multidrug resistance. The two metallo-beta-lactamases were found to be isologous. The difference of sensitivity of these two strains was associated to the level of production of the metallo-beta-lactamase.

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