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Establishing clonal relationships between VIM-1-like metallo- β - lactamase-producing Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains from four European countries by multilocus sequence typing

Journal title : Journal of Clinical Microbiology
Volume : 44
Issue : 13
Pagination : 4309-4315
Publication date : 01/12/2006


Ten multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains producing VIM-1-like acquired metallo-β-lactamases (MBLs), isolated from four European countries (Greece, Hungary, Italy, and Sweden), were analyzed for genetic relatedness by several methodologies, including fliC sequence analysis, macrorestriction profiling of genomic DNA by pulsed-field gel electroplioresis (PFGE), random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD), and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). The four approaches yielded consistent results overall but showed different resolution powers in establishing relatedness between isolates (PFGE > RAPD > MLST > fliC typing) and could usefully complement each other to address issues in the molecular epidemiology of P. aeruginosa strains producing acquired MBLs. In particular, the recently developed MLST approach was useful in revealing clonal relatedness between isolates when this was not readily apparent using RAPD and PFGE, and it suggested a common ancestry for some of the VIM-1-like MBL-positive P. aeruginosa strains currently spreading in Europe. The MBL producers belonged in three clonal complexes/burst groups (BGs). Of these, one corresponded to the previously described BG4 and included serotype O12 strains from Hungary and Sweden, while the other two were novel and included serotype Oil or nonserotypable strains from Greece, Sweden, and/or Italy. Comparison of the integrons carrying blaVIM-1-like cassettes of various isolates revealed a remarkable structural heterogeneity, suggesting the possibility that multiple independent events of acquisition of different blaVIM-containing integrons had occurred in members of the same clonal lineage, although a contribution of integrase-mediated cassette shuffling or other recombination mechanisms during the evolution of similar strains could also have played a role in determining this variability.


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