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Mechanisms of ertapenem resistance in Enterobacteriaceae isolates in a tertiary university hospital
  1. Hae-Sun Chung1,
  2. Dongeun Yong2,
  3. Miae Lee1
  1. 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, Ewha Womans University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  2. 2Department of Laboratory Medicine and Research Institute of Bacterial Resistance, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  1. Correspondence to Professor Miae Lee, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Ewha Womans University School of Medicine, Seoul 07985, Korea; miae{at}


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 β-lactamase, and extended-spectrum β-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 β-lactamases and ESBLs were found in 32 (80.0%) and 20 (50.0%) of the 40 isolates with ertapenem non-susceptibility, respectively. Distributions of β-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 β-lactamases and OMP analysis revealed that most of the isolates with ertapenem resistance exhibited β-lactamase activity and porin alteration. PFGE revealed that most isolates were epidemiologically unrelated. Ertapenem resistance in clinical Enterobacteriaceae isolates was associated with β-lactamase activity and porin alteration. Even though carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae are still rare, continuous monitoring and infection control for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae are necessary.

  • Antibiotics
  • Bacterial Infections

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