Variants of AbGRI3 carrying the armA gene in extensively antibiotic-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii from Singapore

Grace A. Blackwell, Kathryn E. Holt, Stephen D. Bentley, Li Yang Hsu, Ruth M. Hall

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Objectives: To investigate the context of the ribosomal RNA methyltransferase gene armA in carbapenemresistant global clone 2 (GC2) Acinetobacter baumannii isolates fromSingapore. Methods: Antibiotic resistance was determined using disc diffusion; PCR was used to identify resistance genes. Whole genome sequences were determined and contigs were assembled and ordered using PCR. Resistance regions in unsequenced isolates were mapped. Results: Fifteen GC2 A. baumannii isolated at Singapore General Hospital over the period 2004-11 and found to carry the armA gene were resistant to carbapenems, third-generation cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones and most aminoglycosides. In these isolates, the armA gene was located in a third chromosomal resistance island, previously designated AbGRI3. In four isolates, armA was in a 19 kb IS26-bounded transposon, designated Tn6180. In three of them, a 2.7 kb transposon carrying the aphA1b gene, designated Tn6179, was found adjacent to and sharing an IS26 with Tn6180. However, in these four isolates a 3.1 kb segment of the adjacent chromosomal DNA has been inverted by an IS26-mediated event. The remaining 11 isolates all contained a derivative of Tn6180 that had lost part of the central segment and only one retained Tn6179. The chromosomal inversion was present in four of these and in seven the deletion extended beyond the inversion into adjacent chromosomal DNA. AbGRI3 forms were found in available GC2 sequences carrying armA. Conclusions: In GC2 A. baumannii, the armA gene is located in various forms of a third genomic resistance island named AbGRI3. An aphA1b transposon is variably present in AbGRI3.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1031-1039
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes

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