Emergence of NDM-5-producing Escherichia coli sequence type 167 clone in Italy

Maria Giufrè, Giulia Errico, Marisa Accogli, Monica Monaco, Laura Villa, Maria Antonietta Distasi, Tito Del Gaudio, Annalisa Pantosti, Alessandra Carattoli, Marina Cerquetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The emergence of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) is a critical concern worldwide. In Italy, CPE isolates are very frequent, with the KPC enzyme types strongly predominant whereas the New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase (NDM) enzymes are extremely rare. Here we report the first detection of NDM-5-producing Escherichia coli sequence type 167 (ST167) isolates from two patients with urinary tract infection (Ec001 and Ec002 from urines), including one with colonisation (Ec003 from faeces) admitted to the same hospital 2 months apart in 2017. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) were determined by broth microdilution. The carbapenemase type was identified both by phenotypic and genotypic methods. Isolate genotypes were investigated by phylogenetic typing, multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Next-generation sequencing (NGS) was used to obtain complete sequences of plasmids. The three E. coli isolates carried the blaNDM-5 gene, shared the same resistance phenotype and belonged to ST167. By PFGE, isolates showed the same profile, suggesting that they were the same strain. NGS revealed that the blaNDM-5 gene was located on a 99-kb multireplicon plasmid (designed pNDM-5-IT) with a peculiar scaffold constituted by four replicons of the IncF type (FIA, FIB and two copies of the FII replicon). pNDM-5-IT plasmid harboured multiple resistance and virulence determinants, including the arginine deaminase (ADI) cluster never found associated with plasmids before. Since NDM-5-producing E. coli ST167 has been regarded as a successful epidemic clone in China, the emergence of such a clone carrying a plasmid associated both with multiresistance and virulence could be a public-health threat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-81
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Antimicrobial Agents
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2018


  • Carbapenemase
  • Escherichia coli
  • Multidrug resistance
  • NDM-5
  • Resistance plasmid
  • ST167

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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