JOURNAL OF INVESTIGATIVE MEDICINE vol. 64, no. 5, pp. 1042 - 1049
BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP
The aim of this study was to investigate the molecular mechanisms of ertapenem resistance among Enterobacteriaceae isolates in a clinical microbiology laboratory at a tertiary university hospital. A total of 40 clinical isolates including 20 resistant and 20 intermediate isolates were collected from August 2012 to July 2013. Ertapenem susceptibility was confirmed by the broth microdilution method. PCR and sequencing analysis of carbapenemase, AmpC beta-lactamase, and extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) genes were performed. Outer membrane proteins (OMPs) were examined by urea-sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Molecular epidemiology studies were performed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). AmpC beta-lactamases and ESBLs were found in 32 (80.0%) and 20 (50.0%) of the 40 isolates with ertapenem non-susceptibility, respectively. Distributions of beta-lactamase genes differed among the species. One Citrobacter freundii isolate among the 40 isolates with ertapenem non-susceptibility carrying the blaIMP-1 associated class 1 integron was detected. SDS-PAGE of OMPs showed altered or greatly diminished expression of porins in all isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae (n=5) and Enterobacter cloacae (n=11) with ertapenem resistance. Porin alterations were less common among the isolates with intermediate susceptibility (4/19). Integration of the results of molecular analysis of beta-lactamases and OMP analysis revealed that most of the isolates with ertapenem resistance exhibited beta-lactamase activity and porin alteration. PFGE revealed that most isolates were epidemiologically unrelated. Ertapenem resistance in clinical Enterobacteriaceae isolates was associated with beta-lactamase activity and porin alteration. Even though carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae are still rare, continuous monitoring and infection control for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae are necessary.