Aims: Among 365 Escherichia coli isolated in 2003, 31 cefotaxime-resistant isolates were obtained from clinical specimens taken from adults hospitalized in Busan, Korea. Six extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing isolates were investigated further to determine the mechanism of resistance. Methods and Results: These isolates were analysed by antibiotic susceptibility testing, pI determination, plasmid profiles, transconjugation test, PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), enterobacterial repetitive consensus (ERIC)-PCR and DNA sequencing. All six of these isolates were found to contain the CTX-M-type ESBL genes. Five clinical isolates and their transconjugants produced CTX-M-3. One clinical isolate (K17391) and its transconjugant (trcK17391) produced CTX-M-15. Five clinical isolates also produced another TEM-1. One clinical isolate (K12776) also contained another TEM-52. CTX-M-3 ESBL gene was responsible for the resistance to piperacillin, cephalothin, cefotaxime, cefepime and aztreonam. CTX-M-15 or TEM-52 was especially responsible for the resistance to ceftazidime. Conclusions: These results appear to represent the in vivo evolution of CTX-M-type β-lactamase genes (blaCTX-M-3 → blaCTX-M-15) under the selective pressure of antimicrobial therapy (especially ceftazidime). PCR-RFLP is a reliable method to discriminate CTX-M-15 gene from CTX-M-3 gene. ERIC-PCR analysis revealed that dissemination of CTX-M-3 was not due to a clonal outbreak of a resistant strain but to the intra-species spread of resistance to piperacillin, cephalothin, cefotaxime, cefepime and aztreonam in Korea. Significance and Impact of the Study: This is the first report of the occurrence of CTX-M-1 cluster ESBLs in Korea. A more comprehensive survey of these ESBL types from Korea is urgently needed because of the in vivo evolution of CTX-M-15 from CTX-M-3. The emergence of these CTX-M-type ESBLs suggests that diagnostic laboratories should screen for ESBLs with ceftazidime as well as cefotaxime; they should still perform clavulanate synergy tests on resistant isolates.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology