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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Prolonged outbreak of infection due to TEM-21-producing strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and enterobacteria in a nursing home.

Over a 6-year period, 24 extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa were collected from 18 patients living in a nursing home. These isolates had a delayed development of a red pigment and exhibited a similar antibiotype (resistance to all beta-lactams except for imipenem and to gentamicin, tobramycin, netilmicin, ciprofloxacin, and rifampin) associated with the production of the TEM-21 beta-lactamase and a type II 3'-N-aminoglycoside acetyltransferase [AAC(3)-II] enzyme. Surprisingly, serotyping showed that these isolates belonged to four successive serotypes (P2, P16, P1, and PME), although molecular typing by PCR methods and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis yielded identical or similar profiles. Moreover, in all isolates the bla(TEM-21) gene was part of a chromosomally located Tn801 transposon truncated by an IS6100 element inserted within the resolvase gene, and the aac(3)-II gene was adjacent to this structure. During the same period, 17 ESBL-producing isolates of enterobacteria were also collected from 10 of these patients. These isolates harbored a similar large plasmid that contained the bla(TEM-21) and the aac(3)-II genes and that conferred additional resistance to sulfonamides and chloramphenicol, as well as to kanamycin, tobramycin, netilmicin, and amikacin, conveyed by an AAC(6')-I enzyme. The bla(TEM-21) gene was part of the Tn801 transposon disrupted by IS4321. Thus, a single clone of P. aeruginosa that had undergone a progressive genetic drift associated with a change in serotype appeared to be responsible for an outbreak of nosocomial infections in a nursing home. This strain has probably acquired the bla(TEM-21)-encoding plasmid that was epidemic among the enterobacteria at the institution, followed by chromosomal integration and genomic reorganization.[1]


  1. Prolonged outbreak of infection due to TEM-21-producing strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and enterobacteria in a nursing home. Dubois, V., Arpin, C., Noury, P., Andre, C., Coulange, L., Quentin, C. J. Clin. Microbiol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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