Long-term persistence of an extensively drug-resistant subclade of globally distributed Pseudomonas aeruginosa clonal complex 446 in an academic medical center

Nathan B. Pincus, Kelly E.R. Bachta, Egon A. Ozer, Jonathan P. Allen, Olivia N. Pura, Chao Qi, Nathaniel J. Rhodes, Francisco M. Marty, Alisha Pandit, John J. Mekalanos, Antonio Oliver, Alan R. Hauser*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major challenge in the treatment of infections caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Highly drug-resistant infections are disproportionally caused by a small subset of globally distributed P. aeruginosa sequence types (STs), termed “high-risk clones.” We noted that clonal complex (CC) 446 (which includes STs 298 and 446) isolates were repeatedly cultured at 1 medical center and asked whether this lineage might constitute an emerging high-risk clone. Methods. We searched P. aeruginosa genomes from collections available from several institutions and from a public database for the presence of CC446 isolates. We determined antibacterial susceptibility using microbroth dilution and examined genome sequences to characterize the population structure of CC446 and investigate the genetic basis of AMR. Results. CC446 was globally distributed over 5 continents. CC446 isolates demonstrated high rates of AMR, with 51.9% (28/54) being multidrug-resistant (MDR) and 53.6% of these (15/28) being extensively drug-resistant (XDR). Phylogenetic analysis revealed that most MDR/XDR isolates belonged to a subclade of ST298 (designated ST298*) of which 100% (21/21) were MDR and 61.9% (13/21) were XDR. XDR ST298* was identified repeatedly and consistently at a single academic medical center from 2001 through 2017. These isolates harbored a large plasmid that carries a novel antibiotic resistance integron. Conclusions. CC446 isolates are globally distributed with multiple occurrences of high AMR. The subclade ST298* is responsible for a prolonged epidemic (≥16 years) of XDR infections at an academic medical center. These findings indicate that CC446 is an emerging high-risk clone deserving further surveillance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1524-1531
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Volume71
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 15 2020

Keywords

  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • High-risk clone
  • Phylogenetics
  • Plasmid
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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