Clonal diversity, biofilm formation, and antimicrobial resistance among Stenotrophomonas maltophilia strains from cystic fibrosis and non-cystic fibrosis patients

A. Pompilio, V. Savini, E. Fiscarelli, G. Gherardi, G. Di Bonaventura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The intrinsic antibiotic resistance of Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, along with its ability to form biofilm both on abiotic surfaces and host tissues, dramatically affects the efficacy of the antibiotic therapy. In this work, 85 S. maltophilia strains isolated in several hospital of central Italy and from several clinical settings were evaluated for their genetic relatedness (by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, PFGE), biofilm formation (by microtiter plate assay), and planktonic antibiotic resistance (by Kirby–Bauer disk diffusion technique). The S. maltophilia population showed a high genetic heterogeneity: 64 different PFGE types were identified, equally distributed in cystic fibrosis (CF) and non-CF strains, and some consisted of multiple strains. Most of the strains (88.2%) were able to form biofilm, although non-CF strains were significantly more efficient than CF strains. CF strains produced lower biofilm amounts than non-CF strains, both those from respiratory tracts and blood. Non-CF PFGE types 3 and 27 consisted of strong-producers only. Cotrimoxazole and levofloxacin were the most effective antibiotics, being active respectively against 81.2% and 72.9% of strains. CF strains were significantly more resistant to piperacillin/tazobactam compared to non-CF strains (90% vs. 53.3%), regardless of sample type. Among respiratory strains, cotrimoxazole was more active against non-CF than CF strains (susceptibility rates: 86.7% versus 75%). The multidrug resistant phenotype was significantly more prevalent in CF than non-CF strains (90% versus 66.7%). Overall, the multidrug-resistance level was negatively associated with efficiency in biofilm formation. Our results showed, for the first time, that in S. maltophilia both classical planktonic drug resistance and the ability of biofilm formation might favor its dissemination in the hospital setting. Biofilm formation might act as a survival mechanism for susceptible bacteria, suggesting that clinical isolates should be routinely assayed for biofilm formation in diagnostic laboratories. © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAntibiotics
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Biofilm formation
  • Stenotrophomonas maltophilia

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