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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2014;58(2):936-49. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01261-13. Epub 2013 Nov 25.

Identification of 50 class D β-lactamases and 65 Acinetobacter-derived cephalosporinases in Acinetobacter spp.

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Institut Pasteur, Unité des Agents Antibactériens, Paris, France.


Whole-genome sequencing of a collection of 103 Acinetobacter strains belonging to 22 validly named species and another 16 putative species allowed detection of genes for 50 new class D β-lactamases and 65 new Acinetobacter-derived cephalosporinases (ADC). All oxacillinases (OXA) contained the three typical motifs of class D β-lactamases, STFK, (F/Y)GN, and K(S/T)G. The phylogenetic tree drawn from the OXA sequences led to an increase in the number of OXA groups from 7 to 18. The topologies of the OXA and RpoB phylogenetic trees were similar, supporting the ancient acquisition of blaOXA genes by Acinetobacter species. The class D β-lactamase genes appeared to be intrinsic to several species, such as Acinetobacter baumannii, Acinetobacter pittii, Acinetobacter calcoaceticus, and Acinetobacter lwoffii. Neither blaOXA-40/143- nor blaOXA-58-like genes were detected, and their origin remains therefore unknown. The phylogenetic tree analysis based on the alignment of the sequences deduced from blaADC revealed five main clusters, one containing ADC belonging to species closely related to A. baumannii and the others composed of cephalosporinases from the remaining species. No indication of blaOXA or blaADC transfer was observed between distantly related species, except for blaOXA-279, possibly transferred from Acinetobacter genomic species 6 to Acinetobacter parvus. Analysis of β-lactam susceptibility of seven strains harboring new oxacillinases and cloning of the corresponding genes in Escherichia coli and in a susceptible A. baumannii strain indicated very weak hydrolysis of carbapenems. Overall, this study reveals a large pool of β-lactamases in different Acinetobacter spp., potentially transferable to pathogenic strains of the genus.

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