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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2011 Dec;17(12):1817-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2011.03530.x. Epub 2011 May 23.

Mechanisms of resistance in clinical isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa less susceptible to cefepime than to ceftazidime.

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Servicio de Microbiología, Hospital Sierrallana, Cantabria, Spain.


The MIC of cefepime determined with the MicroScan WalkAway system was ≥2 times higher than that of ceftazidime for 105 clinical isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This phenotype was confirmed by reference microdilution in 68 (64.8%) isolates, corresponding to 48 different rep-PCR patterns. The PSE-1 blactamase was identified in only 13.2% isolates, while oxacillinases were not identified in any of the 68 isolates. The level of expression of mexB, mexD and mexY was determined by real-time RT-PCR in eight clinical isolates representative of the different clones and patterns of susceptibility to cefepime and ceftazidime and in strain PAO1. All clinical strains overexpressed the mexY gene (18.3- to 152.7-fold in comparison with PAO1), although there was not a linear relationship between MIC of cefepime and level of mexY expression. Five of these strains contained mutations in the regulatory gene mexZ. mexD and mexB were also overexpressed in three and two isolates, respectively. Different mutations were observed in the regulatory genes nalD, mexR, nfxB and nalC. In conclusion, we have documented in our institution a polyclonal spread of P. aeruginosa with higher MICs of cefepime than of ceftazidime, related to overexpression of MexXY-OprM, coincident in some isolates with the production of PSE-1, MexCD-OprJ or MexAB-OprM.

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