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In vivo selection of multidrug resistance in Enterobacter cloacae complex by a unique romR deletion

Abstract : Objectives: Members of the Enterobacter cloacae complex (ECC) are major opportunistic pathogens, especially among intensive care unit (ICU) patients. The aim of this study was to decipher the phenotypic and genomic evolution of an ECC clone that acquired a multidrug resistance phenotype in an ICU patient. Methods: During a four-month period, 8 MDR ECC strains were recovered from the same patient: 5 from clinical samples and 3 from rectal swabs. The patient benefited from an escalation of antibiotic treatment until he died. MIC values of 18 antibiotics were determined by the broth microdilution method. Whole-genome sequencing was performed for the 8 strains and a Single-Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) analysis was performed after alignment against the ECC reference genome (ATCC 13047). Results: In strains isolated from the 3rd month, a significant increase in MICs (at least 4 fold change) was observed for ceftazidime, cefepime, temocillin, ertapenem, tigecycline and chloramphenicol. All strains harbored the same antibiotic resistance genes against β-lactams, aminoglycosides, fluoroquinolones, sulphonamides, trimethoprime and chloramphenicol. The 8 MDR ECC belonged to the same cluster 6 (ECC6) and were genetically related. No genetic evolution was found in chromosomal genes usually involved in β-lactam resistance (i.e. ampD, ampR, nagZ, dacA, dacB, acrAB-tolC, ompK35, ompK36). The isolates differed by 5 SNPs located in metabolism genes and a deletion of 13 bases in romR, which encodes for TetR-type transcriptonal regulator. This latter is known to play a repressor role on the expression of porins such as ompK35, whose the downregulation might be involved in MIC increases observed here. Conclusion: Consequent and long-term antibiotic treatment in one patient indicated the selection of a unique MDR ECC6 population where antibiotic resistance evolved more by chromosomal modifications than acquired antibiotic resistance genes. The analysis of the different genetic features through all the 8 MDR ECC6 strains allowed us to highlight a candidate gene that could be implicated in carbapenem, chloramphenicol and tigecyclin resistance. Further phenotypic and molecular characterization by site-directed mutagenesis is in progress.
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Contributor : François Gravey Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, December 12, 2019 - 11:57:08 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, March 2, 2022 - 4:18:04 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, March 13, 2020 - 7:07:03 PM


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  • HAL Id : hal-02406906, version 1



François Gravey, F Ethuin, V. Cattoir, R. Beyrouthy, R. Bonnet, et al.. In vivo selection of multidrug resistance in Enterobacter cloacae complex by a unique romR deletion. 29th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, Apr 2019, Amsterdam, Netherlands. 2019. ⟨hal-02406906⟩



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