Working Paper Communication Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Identical Plasmids Encoding VIM-1 and Mercury Resistance in Enterobacteriaceae from North-Eastern Germany

Version 1 : Received: 13 June 2021 / Approved: 14 June 2021 / Online: 14 June 2021 (11:13:01 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Heiden, S.E.; Sydow, K.; Schaefer, S.; Klempien, I.; Balau, V.; Bauer, P.; Hübner, N.-O.; Schaufler, K. Nearly Identical Plasmids Encoding VIM-1 and Mercury Resistance in Enterobacteriaceae from North-Eastern Germany. Microorganisms 2021, 9, 1345. Heiden, S.E.; Sydow, K.; Schaefer, S.; Klempien, I.; Balau, V.; Bauer, P.; Hübner, N.-O.; Schaufler, K. Nearly Identical Plasmids Encoding VIM-1 and Mercury Resistance in Enterobacteriaceae from North-Eastern Germany. Microorganisms 2021, 9, 1345.

Journal reference: Microorganisms 2021, 9, 1345
DOI: 10.3390/microorganisms9071345

Abstract

The emergence of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae has limited therapeutic options and presents a major public health problem. Resistances against carbapenems in this bacterial family are mostly conveyed by metallo-beta-lactamases (MBL) including VIM, which are often encoded on resistance plasmids. We characterized four VIM-positive isolates that were obtained as part of a routine diagnostic screening from two laboratories in north-eastern Germany be-tween June and August 2020. Whole-genome sequences were generated to address a) their phylo-genetic properties, b) their plasmid content, and c) the underlying mechanisms of resistance and virulence. In addition, we performed phenotypic antibiotic and mercury resistance analyses. The genomic analysis revealed three different bacterial species including C. freundii, E. coli and K. oxytoca with four different sequence types. All isolates were geno- and phenotypically multi-drug-resistant (MDR). Three isolates of four carried identical VIM-1-resistance plasmids, which – in addition – encoded for a mercury resistance operon and showed some similarity to two ex-ternal plasmid sequences. The distribution of virulence features among the genomes was limited. Our results highlight the circulation of an identical VIM-1-resistance plasmid in three of four bacterial isolates of different Enterobacteriaceae in north-eastern Germany.

Keywords

VIM; Enterobacteriaceae; mercury; resistance

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