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Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2012 Jan;39(1):81-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2011.08.006. Epub 2011 Oct 12.

Characteristics of carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter spp. other than Acinetobacter baumannii in South Korea.

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Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Samsung Biomedical Research Institute, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Suwon, South Korea.


Although many studies have been performed on carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii, only a few studies have addressed carbapenem resistance in Acinetobacter spp. other than A. baumannii (non-baumannii Acinetobacter). Amongst 287 Acinetobacter spp. isolates from patients with bacteraemia in a South Korean hospital collected between 2003 and 2010, 160 (55.7%) were non-baumannii Acinetobacter spp. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed and the effect of efflux pump inhibitors was examined. Antimicrobial resistance genes were identified and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis was performed. OprD expression was also evaluated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), and CarO disruption was investigated by PCR. Seventeen non-baumannii Acinetobacter isolates (10.6%) were resistant to imipenem or meropenem, comprising eight Acinetobacter pittii (or Acinetobacter genomospecies 3), four Acinetobacter nosocomialis (or Acinetobacter genomospecies 13TU), two Acinetobacter genomospecies 'close to 13TU', two Acinetobacter bereziniae (or Acinetobacter genomospecies 10) and one Acinetobacter genomospecies 16. bla(IMP-1) genes were detected in seven and two carbapenem-resistant A. pittii and A. bereziniae isolates, respectively. PFGE showed that A. pittii isolates carrying bla(IMP-1) belonged to the same clone. In addition, bla(SIM-1) and bla(PER-1) genes were simultaneously identified in two A. nosocomialis isolates. In four isolates (one each of A. pittii, A. nosocomialis, Acinetobacter genomospecies 'close to 13TU' and Acinetobacter genomospecies 16), efflux pumps were implicated in the increase in carbapenem minimum inhibitory concentrations. No decreased expression of OprD was identified in any carbapenem-resistant non-baumannii Acinetobacter isolates, and disruption of carO was also not detected. Clonal spread of carbapenem-resistant A. pittii carrying bla(IMP-1), which contributes to a high resistance rate in this species, was identified. The bla(IMP-1) and bla(SIM-1) genes were first identified in A. bereziniae and A. nosocomialis, respectively. Since no carbapenem resistance mechanisms could be identified, further efforts to find the resistance mechanism should be made.

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