Pitfalls in genotypic antimicrobial susceptibility testing caused by low expression of blaKPC in Escherichia coli.

Kaan Kocer, Sabrina Klein, Dagmar Hildebrand, Johannes Krall, Klaus Heeg, Sébastien Boutin, Dennis Nurjadi

Abstract

BACKGROUND: There is a growing interest in the rapid genotypic identification of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). In routine diagnostics, we detected multiple KPC-positive Escherichia coli (KPC-Ec) with discordant phenotypic meropenem susceptibility from a single patient's blood cultures, which prompted a more thorough investigation. OBJECTIVES: We investigated the potential clinical relevance of, and the mechanism behind, discordant phenotypic and genotypic meropenem susceptibility in KPC-Ec. METHODS: WGS was used to perform a comparative analysis of the isolates' genetic characteristics and their blaKPC-2 locus. Expression of blaKPC-2 was determined by quantitative PCR and the potency of meropenem hydrolysis was determined using a semi-quantitative carbapenem inactivation method. An in vivo infection assay using Galleria mellonella was performed to assess the potential clinical relevance of KPC expression in E. coli. RESULTS: Despite the presence of blaKPC-2, three of five isolates were susceptible to meropenem (MICVITEK2 ≤ 0.25 mg/L), while two isolates were resistant (MICVITEK2 ≥ 16 mg/L). The isolates with high MICs had significantly higher blaKPC-2 expression, which corresponds to phenotypic meropenem inactivation. The genetic environment of blaKPC-2, which may impact KPC production, was identical in all isolates. In vivo infection assay with G. mellonella suggested that meropenem was effective in reducing mortality following infection with low-expressing KPC-Ec. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings clearly highlight a limitation of genotypic AMR prediction for blaKPC. For the time being, genotypic AMR prediction requires additional analysis for accurate antibiotic therapy decision-making.
OriginalspracheEnglisch
ZeitschriftJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Ausgabenummer11
ISSN0305-7453
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 01.10.2021

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