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PLoS One. 2013 Aug 12;8(8):e70557. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0070557. eCollection 2013.

Identification and characterization of a novel aac(6')-Iag associated with the blaIMP-1-integron in a multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

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Project Research Center for Nosocomial Infectious Diseases, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, Japan.


In a continuing study from Dec 2006 to Apr 2008, we characterized nine multi-drug resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains isolated from four patients in a ward at the Hiroshima University Hospital, Japan. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of SpeI-digested genomic DNAs from the isolates suggested the clonal expansion of a single strain; however, only one strain, NK0009, was found to produce metallo-β-lactamase. PCR and subsequent sequencing analysis indicated NK0009 possessed a novel class 1 integron, designated as In124, that carries an array of four gene cassettes: a novel aminoglycoside (AG) resistance gene, aac(6')-Iag, blaIMP-1, a truncated form of blaIMP-1, and a truncated form of aac(6')-Iag. The aac(6')-Iag encoded a 167-amino-acid protein that shows 40% identity with AAC(6')-Iz. Recombinant AAC(6')-Iag protein showed aminoglycoside 6'-N-acetyltransferase activity using thin-layer chromatography (TLC) and MS spectrometric analysis. Escherichia coli carrying aac(6')-Iag showed resistance to amikacin, arbekacin, dibekacin, isepamicin, kanamycin, sisomicin, and tobramycin; but not to gentamicin. A conjugation experiment and subsequent Southern hybridization with the gene probes for blaIMP-1 and aac(6')-Ig strongly suggested In124 is on a conjugal plasmid. Transconjugants acquired resistance to gentamicin and were resistant to virtually all AGs, suggesting that the In124 conjugal plasmid also possesses a gene conferring resistance to gentamicin.

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