The wide spread of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) in the environment is an emerging environmental issue with potentially-serious public health implications. However, carbapenemase-producing Citrobacter from environment has rarely been investigated. Here we report the isolation and comparative genomics of carbapenemase-producing Citrobacter isolates from river sediment in China. Potential CPE was isolated by selective MacConkey agar plates containing 2 mg/L meropenem. The presence of carbapenemase genes was detected by PCR and sequencing. The clonal relatedness of Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC-2)-producing Citrobacter isolates was assessed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multilocus sequence typing. Plasmid analysis of KPC-2-producing Citrobacter isolates was performed by S1-PFGE, Southern blotting, and whole genome sequencing. A total of four KPC-2-producing Citrobacter and three Aeromonas isolates were recovered from 54 sediment cultures of Shifeng River. Notably, all KPC-producing isolates were isolated from sampling sites near a waste water treatment plant. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing showed that three of the four sequenced isolates (C1710, C191, and C196) resistant to multiple antibiotics. Genotyping and pan-genome analyses revealed that the C191 and C196 C. freundii isolates exhibited a high level of genetic similarity. Plasmid analysis confirmed that the blaKPC-2 gene is located on either IncF or IncN3 plasmids in all isolates. The blaKPC-2 gene of C1710, C181 and C191 was successfully transferred with E. coli EC600 as the recipient strain. In silico analysis further suggested that pKPC-191 is a novel IncF plasmid, with 99% identity to two previously described IncFII plasmids at 71% coverage. We report here the presence of diverse conjugative blaKPC-2 plasmids from environmental Citrobacter isolates, which poses the possible dissemination of antimicrobial resistance into clinical isolates. To our knowledge, this is the first study to culture and characterize KPC-2-producing Citrobacter isolates from river sediments in China.
Environmental Pollution – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2018
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