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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2019 Feb 8. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkz030. [Epub ahead of print]

High incidence of MDR and XDR Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates obtained from patients with ventilator-associated pneumonia in Greece, Italy and Spain as part of the MagicBullet clinical trial.

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Microbiology Department, Biomedical Research Institute A Coruña (INIBIC), University Hospital A Coruña (CHUAC), University of A Coruña (UDC), A Coruña, Spain.
Unidad de Enfermedades Infecciosas, Microbiología y Medicina Preventiva, Hospital Universitario Virgen Macarena, Seville, Spain.
Instituto de Biomedicina de Sevilla, Seville, Spain.
Department of Infectious Diseases, Microbiology and Preventive Medicine, Institute of Biomedicine of Seville (IBiS), University Hospital Virgen del Rocio, CSIC, University of Seville, Seville, Spain.
Departamento de Microbiología, Universidad de Sevilla, Seville, Spain.



To characterize the antimicrobial susceptibility, molecular epidemiology and carbapenem resistance mechanisms in Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates recovered from respiratory tract samples from patients with ventilator-associated pneumonia enrolled in the MagicBullet clinical trial.


Isolates were collected from 53 patients from 12 hospitals in Spain, Italy and Greece. Susceptibility was determined using broth microdilution and Etest. MALDI-TOF MS was used to detect carbapenemase activity and carbapenemases were identified by PCR and sequencing. Molecular epidemiology was investigated using PFGE and MLST.


Of the 53 isolates, 2 (3.8%) were considered pandrug resistant (PDR), 19 (35.8%) were XDR and 16 (30.2%) were MDR. Most (88.9%) of the isolates from Greece were MDR, XDR or PDR, whereas fewer of the isolates from Spain (33.3%) and Italy (43.5%) showed antibiotic resistance. Three Greek isolates were resistant to colistin. Overall, the rates of resistance of P. aeruginosa isolates to imipenem, ciprofloxacin, ceftolozane/tazobactam and ceftazidime/avibactam were 64.1%, 54.7%, 22.6% and 24.5%, respectively. All isolates resistant to ceftolozane/tazobactam and ceftazidime/avibactam (Greece, n = 10; and Italy, n = 2) carried blaVIM-2. Spanish isolates were susceptible to the new drug combinations. Forty-eight restriction patterns and 27 STs were documented. Sixty percent of isolates belonged to six STs, including the high-risk clones ST-111, ST-175 and ST-235.


MDR/XDR isolates were highly prevalent, particularly in Greece. The most effective antibiotic against P. aeruginosa was colistin, followed by ceftolozane/tazobactam and ceftazidime/avibactam. blaVIM-2 is associated with resistance to ceftolozane/tazobactam and ceftazidime/avibactam, and related to highly resistant phenotypes. ST-111 was the most frequent and disseminated clone and the clonal diversity was lower in XDR and PDR strains.


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