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J Med Microbiol. 2008 Mar;57(Pt 3):332-7. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.47576-0.

High-level carbapenem resistance in a Citrobacter freundii clinical isolate is due to a combination of KPC-2 production and decreased porin expression.

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Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, PR China.


An imipenem-resistant isolate of Citrobacter freundii ZJ163 (MIC 256 microg ml(-1)) isolated from a Chinese hospital was investigated. The C. freundii ZJ163 isolate exhibited high-level resistance to carbapenems, penicillins, cephalosporins, cefoxitin, aztreonam, quinolones and aminoglycosides. Isoelectric focusing (IEF) demonstrated three beta-lactamases with pIs of 5.4 (TEM-1), 6.7 (KPC-2) and 7.9 (CTX-M-14). Two different transconjugants (types A and B) were obtained by conjugation studies. The type A transconjugant exhibited reduced susceptibility or resistance to penicillins, cephalosporins and aztreonam, but was susceptible to carbapenems, quinolones and aminoglycosides. The antimicrobial susceptibility patterns of the type B transconjugant were similar to that of type A, except for its significantly reduced carbapenem susceptibility (imipenem MIC 2 microg ml(-1)). IEF, specific PCRs and DNA sequence analysis indicated that the type A transconjugant produced CTX-M-14 beta-lactamase with a pI of 7.9, that the type B transconjugant produced KPC-2 beta-lactamase with a pI of 6.7 and that the beta-lactamase with a pI of 5.4 was TEM-1. PCR analysis and sequencing confirmed the presence of the ampC gene in the chromosomal DNA from C. freundii ZJ163, although no activity of AmpC beta-lactamase was detected by IEF. Urea/SDS-PAGE analysis of outer-membrane proteins revealed that the levels of the 41 and 38 kDa porins were decreased in C. freundii ZJ163. It was concluded that production of KPC-2 combined with decreased expression of porins contributes to high-level resistance to carbapenems in C. freundii ZJ163.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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