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Achromobacter xylosoxidans: An Emerging Pathogen Carrying Different Elements Involved in Horizontal Genetic Transfer

Traglia, German Matías, Almuzara, Marisa, Merkier, Andrea Karina, Adams, Christina, Galanternik, Laura, Vay, Carlos, Centrón, Daniela, Ramírez, María Soledad
Current microbiology 2012 v.65 no.6 pp. 673-678
Achromobacter xylosoxidans, antibiotic resistance, bacteria, beta-lactamase, genes, host range, multiple drug resistance, pathogens, plasmids, polymerase chain reaction, transposons, trimethoprim, Argentina
In the last few years, numerous cases of multidrug-resistant Achromobacter xylosoxidans infections have been documented in immunocompromised and cystic fibrosis patients. To gain insights into the molecular mechanisms and mobile elements related to multidrug resistance in this bacterium, we studied 24 non-epidemiological A. xylosoxidans clinical isolates from Argentina. Specific primers for plasmids, transposons, insertion sequences, bla ampC, intI1, and intI2 genes were used in PCR reactions. The obtained results showed the presence of wide host range IncP plasmids in ten isolates and a high dispersion of class 1 integrons (n = 10) and class 2 integrons (n = 3). Four arrays in the variable region (vr) of class 1 integrons were identified carrying different gene cassettes as the aminoglycoside resistance aac(6′)-Ib and aadA1, the trimethoprim resistance dfrA1 and dfrA16, and the β-lactamase bla OXA-2. In only one of the class 2 integrons, a vr was amplified that includes sat2-aadA1. The bla ampC gene was found in all isolates, confirming its ubiquitous nature. Our results show that A. xylosoxidans clinical isolates contain a rich variety of genetic elements commonly associated with resistance genes and their dissemination. This supports the hypothesis that A. xylosoxidans is becoming a reservoir of horizontal genetic transfer elements commonly involved in spreading antibiotic resistance.