Objectives: To investigate the link between two NDM-1-positive Acinetobacter isolates from the same hospital, the plasmid profiles of the isolates were examined. These two isolates were found from a surveillance programme within 3 months from two patients without obvious physical contact or hospitalization time overlap. Methods: Antimicrobial susceptibility tests, genome sequencing of both isolates and plasmid transfer experiments were performed. A comparative study of similar plasmids was performed using BLAST analysis. Results: The antimicrobial susceptibility of the isolates (Acinetobacter soli M131 and Acinetobacter pittii MS32) and their Escherichia coli transconjugants revealed a conjugative plasmid that carried the carbapenem resistance determinant. Eleven plasmidswere observed in M131 and three in MS32. Each isolate shared an identical plasmid that carried the blaNDM-1 gene. This 47271 bp plasmid harbours a conserved blaNDM-1-containing region that is flanked by ISAba125 and ISAba11 elements, and also contains a Ti-type conjugative operon. The plasmid is nearly identical in sequence to those of Acinetobacter isolates from China. In contrast to the mobilization of the blaNDM-1 sequence in Enterobacteriaceae, which is mainly by transposition, this plasmid moves as a whole among Acinetobacter species. Consistently, this plasmid was found to transfer effectively by in vitro conjugation to several Acinetobacter species. Conclusions: The clinical and laboratory findings suggest that Acinetobacter species may serve as a reservoir of this blaNDM-1 plasmid. Our study demonstrates the potential of applying genome sequencing to the surveillance of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria.
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