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Emergence of a new antibiotic resistance mechanism in India, Pakistan, and the UK: a molecular, biological, and epidemiological study

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      Summary

      Background

      Gram-negative Enterobacteriaceae with resistance to carbapenem conferred by New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase 1 (NDM-1) are potentially a major global health problem. We investigated the prevalence of NDM-1, in multidrug-resistant Enterobacteriaceae in India, Pakistan, and the UK.

      Methods

      Enterobacteriaceae isolates were studied from two major centres in India—Chennai (south India), Haryana (north India)—and those referred to the UK's national reference laboratory. Antibiotic susceptibilities were assessed, and the presence of the carbapenem resistance gene bla NDM-1 was established by PCR. Isolates were typed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of XbaI-restricted genomic DNA. Plasmids were analysed by S1 nuclease digestion and PCR typing. Case data for UK patients were reviewed for evidence of travel and recent admission to hospitals in India or Pakistan.

      Findings

      We identified 44 isolates with NDM-1 in Chennai, 26 in Haryana, 37 in the UK, and 73 in other sites in India and Pakistan. NDM-1 was mostly found among Escherichia coli (36) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (111), which were highly resistant to all antibiotics except to tigecycline and colistin. K pneumoniae isolates from Haryana were clonal but NDM-1 producers from the UK and Chennai were clonally diverse. Most isolates carried the NDM-1 gene on plasmids: those from UK and Chennai were readily transferable whereas those from Haryana were not conjugative. Many of the UK NDM-1 positive patients had travelled to India or Pakistan within the past year, or had links with these countries.

      Interpretation

      The potential of NDM-1 to be a worldwide public health problem is great, and co-ordinated international surveillance is needed.

      Funding

      European Union, Wellcome Trust, and Wyeth.

      Related collections

      Most cited references 28

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      Bad bugs, no drugs: no ESKAPE! An update from the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

      The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) continues to view with concern the lean pipeline for novel therapeutics to treat drug-resistant infections, especially those caused by gram-negative pathogens. Infections now occur that are resistant to all current antibacterial options. Although the IDSA is encouraged by the prospect of success for some agents currently in preclinical development, there is an urgent, immediate need for new agents with activity against these panresistant organisms. There is no evidence that this need will be met in the foreseeable future. Furthermore, we remain concerned that the infrastructure for discovering and developing new antibacterials continues to stagnate, thereby risking the future pipeline of antibacterial drugs. The IDSA proposed solutions in its 2004 policy report, "Bad Bugs, No Drugs: As Antibiotic R&D Stagnates, a Public Health Crisis Brews," and recently issued a "Call to Action" to provide an update on the scope of the problem and the proposed solutions. A primary objective of these periodic reports is to encourage a community and legislative response to establish greater financial parity between the antimicrobial development and the development of other drugs. Although recent actions of the Food and Drug Administration and the 110th US Congress present a glimmer of hope, significant uncertainly remains. Now, more than ever, it is essential to create a robust and sustainable antibacterial research and development infrastructure--one that can respond to current antibacterial resistance now and anticipate evolving resistance. This challenge requires that industry, academia, the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US Department of Defense, and the new Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority at the Department of Health and Human Services work productively together. This report provides an update on potentially effective antibacterial drugs in the late-stage development pipeline, in the hope of encouraging such collaborative action.
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        Characterization of a new metallo-beta-lactamase gene, bla(NDM-1), and a novel erythromycin esterase gene carried on a unique genetic structure in Klebsiella pneumoniae sequence type 14 from India.

        A Swedish patient of Indian origin traveled to New Delhi, India, and acquired a urinary tract infection caused by a carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae strain that typed to the sequence type 14 complex. The isolate, Klebsiella pneumoniae 05-506, was shown to possess a metallo-beta-lactamase (MBL) but was negative for previously known MBL genes. Gene libraries and amplification of class 1 integrons revealed three resistance-conferring regions; the first contained bla(CMY-4) flanked by ISEcP1 and blc. The second region of 4.8 kb contained a complex class 1 integron with the gene cassettes arr-2, a new erythromycin esterase gene; ereC; aadA1; and cmlA7. An intact ISCR1 element was shown to be downstream from the qac/sul genes. The third region consisted of a new MBL gene, designated bla(NDM-1), flanked on one side by K. pneumoniae DNA and a truncated IS26 element on its other side. The last two regions lie adjacent to one another, and all three regions are found on a 180-kb region that is easily transferable to recipient strains and that confers resistance to all antibiotics except fluoroquinolones and colistin. NDM-1 shares very little identity with other MBLs, with the most similar MBLs being VIM-1/VIM-2, with which it has only 32.4% identity. As well as possessing unique residues near the active site, NDM-1 also has an additional insert between positions 162 and 166 not present in other MBLs. NDM-1 has a molecular mass of 28 kDa, is monomeric, and can hydrolyze all beta-lactams except aztreonam. Compared to VIM-2, NDM-1 displays tighter binding to most cephalosporins, in particular, cefuroxime, cefotaxime, and cephalothin (cefalotin), and also to the penicillins. NDM-1 does not bind to the carbapenems as tightly as IMP-1 or VIM-2 and turns over the carbapenems at a rate similar to that of VIM-2. In addition to K. pneumoniae 05-506, bla(NDM-1) was found on a 140-kb plasmid in an Escherichia coli strain isolated from the patient's feces, inferring the possibility of in vivo conjugation. The broad resistance carried on these plasmids is a further worrying development for India, which already has high levels of antibiotic resistance.
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          The real threat of Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase-producing bacteria.

          From early this decade, Enterobacteriaceae that produce Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemases (KPC) were reported in the USA and subsequently worldwide. These KPC-producing bacteria are predominantly involved in nosocomial and systemic infections; although they are mostly Enterobacteriaceae, they can also be, rarely, Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates. KPC beta lactamases (KPC-1 to KPC-7) confer decreased susceptibility or resistance to virtually all beta lactams. Carbapenems (imipenem, meropenem, and ertapenem) may thus become inefficient for treating enterobacterial infections with KPC-producing bacteria, which are, in addition, resistant to many other non-beta-lactam molecules, leaving few available therapeutic options. Detection of KPC-producing bacteria may be difficult based on routine antibiotic susceptibility testing. It is therefore crucial to implement efficient infection control measures to limit the spread of these pathogens.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [a ]Department of Microbiology, Dr ALM PG IBMS, University of Madras, Chennai, India
            [b ]Department of Infection, Immunity and Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
            [c ]Health Protection Agency Centre for Infections, London, UK
            [d ]Department of Microbiology, Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan
            [e ]Department of Microbiology, Pandit B D Sharma PG Institute of Medical Sciences, Haryana, India
            [f ]Department of Clinical Microbiology, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
            [g ]Department of Pathology and Microbiology, The Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan
            [h ]Department of Microbiology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kerala, India
            [i ]University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research, University of Brisbane, Herston, QLD, Australia
            [j ]Department of Microbiology, Apollo Gleneagles Hospital, Kolkata, India
            [k ]Department of Medical Microbiology, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Tyne and Wear, UK
            [l ]Department of Microbiology, Apollo Hospitals, Chennai, India
            [m ]Department of Microbiology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India
            Author notes
            [* ]Correspondence to: Prof Timothy R Walsh, Professor of Medical Microbiology and Antimicrobial Resistance, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XN, UK walshtr@ 123456cardiff.ac.uk
            Contributors
            Journal
            Lancet Infect Dis
            Lancet Infect Dis
            The Lancet Infectious Diseases
            Elsevier Science, The Lancet Pub. Group
            1473-3099
            1474-4457
            September 2010
            September 2010
            : 10
            : 9
            : 597-602
            2933358 20705517 LANINF70143 10.1016/S1473-3099(10)70143-2
            © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

            This document may be redistributed and reused, subject to certain conditions.

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