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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2017 Jul 25;61(8). pii: e00290-17. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00290-17. Print 2017 Aug.

Role of AxyZ Transcriptional Regulator in Overproduction of AxyXY-OprZ Multidrug Efflux System in Achromobacter Species Mutants Selected by Tobramycin.

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Laboratoire de Bactériologie, Hôpital Universitaire de Dijon, Dijon, France.
UMR 6249 CNRS Chrono-environnement, Université de Bourgogne Franche-Comté, France.
Laboratoire de Bactériologie, Hôpital Universitaire de Dijon, Dijon, France


AxyXY-OprZ is an RND-type efflux system that confers innate aminoglycoside resistance to Achromobacter spp. We investigated here a putative TetR family transcriptional regulator encoded by the axyZ gene located upstream of axyXY-oprZ An in-frame axyZ gene deletion assay led to increased MICs of antibiotic substrates of the efflux system, including aminoglycosides, cefepime, fluoroquinolones, tetracyclines, and erythromycin, indicating that the product of axyZ negatively regulates expression of axyXY-oprZ Moreover, we identified an amino acid substitution at position 29 of AxyZ (V29G) in a clinical Achromobacter strain that occurred during the course of chronic respiratory tract colonization in a cystic fibrosis (CF) patient. This substitution, also detected in three other strains exposed in vitro to tobramycin, led to an increase in the axyY transcription level (5- to 17-fold) together with an increase in antibiotic resistance level. This overproduction of AxyXY-OprZ is the first description of antibiotic resistance acquisition due to modification of a chromosomally encoded mechanism in Achromobacter and might have an impact on the management of infected CF patients. Indeed, tobramycin is widely used for aerosol therapy within this population, and we have demonstrated that it easily selects mutants with increased MICs of not only aminoglycosides but also fluoroquinolones, cefepime, and tetracyclines.


Achromobacter; AxyXY-OprZ; AxyZ; cystic fibrosis; efflux; tobramycin

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