Aeromonas dhakensis, a recently described Aeromonas sp. formerly called Aeromonas aquariorum, is associated with human infections. In this study, a chromosomal gene, blaAQU-1, was identified in A. dhakensis AAK1 that constitutes a 1143-bp open reading frame and is 87% identical to the gene encoding CepH in Aeromonas hydrophila. An Escherichia coli TOP10 cell transformant harbouring blaAQU-1 was resistant to cefotaxime but not to cefepime. mRNA expression of blaAQU-1 in the cefotaxime-resistant mutant strain AAK1m was 70-fold higher than in the wild strain AAK1. In all 16 A. dhakensis isolates (the major species of 51 consecutive Aeromonas blood isolates collected from June 1999 to June 2001) as well as in A. aquariorum MDC47T and A. hydrophila subsp. dhakensis LMG 19562T, but not in the reference strains or clinical isolates of other A. hydrophila subspecies, Aeromonas caviae, Aeromonas veronii or Aeromonas enteropelogenes, blaAQU-1-related genes were detected by PCR. Overall, 13 (81%) of the 16 A. dhakensis blood isolates exhibited either cefotaxime resistance or the in vitro emergence of derepressed cefotaxime-resistant mutants. In vivo selection of an A. dhakensis resistant mutant was noted in a burn patient undergoing cefotaxime monotherapy. These observations suggest that AQU-1 is a chromosomal cephalosporinase in A. dhakensis. Cefotaxime monotherapy for severe A. dhakensis infections should be used cautiously.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases
- Pharmacology (medical)