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Dissemination of NDM-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli high-risk clones in Catalan healthcare institutions


Date: 17th November 2020 | Source: Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Authors: Marta Marí-Almirall, Clara Cosgaya, Cristina Pitart, Joaquim Viñes, Laura Muñoz, Irene Campo, Anna Cuscó, Laura Rodríguez-Serna, Gemina Santana, Ana Del Río, Olga Francino, Pilar Ciruela, Isabel Pujol, Frederic Ballester, Francesc Marco, José Antonio Martínez, Álex Soriano, Jordi Vila, Ignasi Roca, the MERCyCAT Study Group.


To characterize the clonal spread of carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli isolates between different healthcare institutions in Catalonia, Spain.


Antimicrobial susceptibility was tested by disc diffusion. MICs were determined by gradient diffusion or broth microdilution. Carbapenemase production was confirmed by lateral flow. PCR and Sanger sequencing were used to identify the allelic variants of resistance genes. Clonality studies were performed by PFGE and MLST. Plasmid typing, conjugation assays, S1-PFGE plus Southern blotting and MinION Oxford Nanopore sequencing were used to characterize resistance plasmids.


Twenty-nine carbapenem-resistant isolates recovered from three healthcare institutions between January and November 2016 were included: 14 K. pneumoniae isolates from a tertiary hospital in the south of Catalonia (hospital A); 2 K. pneumoniae isolates from a nearby healthcare centre; and 12 K. pneumoniae isolates and 1 E. coli isolate from a tertiary hospital in Barcelona (hospital B). The majority of isolates were resistant to all antimicrobial agents, except colistin, and all were NDM producers.

PFGE identified a major K. pneumoniae clone (n =27) belonging to ST147 and co-producing NDM-1 and CTX-M-15, with a few isolates also harbouring blaOXA-48. Two sporadic isolates of K. pneumoniae ST307 and E. coli ST167 producing NDM-7 were also identified. blaNDM-1 was carried in two related IncR plasmid populations and blaNDM-7 in a conjugative 50 kb IncX3 plasmid.


We report the inter-hospital dissemination of XDR high-risk clones of K. pneumoniae and E. coli associated with the carriage of small, transferable plasmids harbouring blaNDM genes.

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