Evolution and spread of a multidrug-resistant Proteus mirabilis clone with chromosomal AmpC-type cephalosporinases in Europe

M. M. D'Andrea, E. Literacka, A. Zioga, T. Giani, A. Baraniak, J. Fiett, E. Sadowy, P. T. Tassios, G. M. Rossolini, M. Gniadkowski, V. Miriagou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Proteus mirabilis isolates obtained in 1999 to 2008 from three European countries were analyzed; all carried chromosomal AmpC-type cephalosporinase bla CMY genes from a Citrobacter freundii origin (bla CMY-2-like genes). Isolates from Poland harbored several bla CMY genes (bla CMY-4, bla CMY-12, bla CMY-14, bla CMY-15, and bla CMY-38 and the new gene bla CMY-45), while isolates from Italy and Greece harbored bla CMY-16 only. Earlier isolates with bla CMY-4 or bla CMY-12, recovered in France from Greek and Algerian patients, were also studied. All isolates showed striking similarities. Their bla CMY genes resided within ISEcp1 transposition modules, named Tn6093, characterized by a 110-bp distance between ISEcp1 and bla CMY, and identical fragments of both C. freundii DNA and a ColE1-type plasmid backbone. Moreover, these modules were inserted into the same chromosomal site, within the pepQ gene. Since ColE1 plasmids carrying ISEcp1 with similar C. freundii DNA fragments (Tn6114) had been identified earlier, it is likely that a similar molecule had mediated at some stage this DNA transfer between C. freundii and P. mirabilis. In addition, isolates with bla CMY-12, bla CMY-15, and bla CMY-38 genes harbored a second bla CMY copy within a shorter ISEcp1 module (Tn6113), always inserted downstream of the ppiD gene. Sequence analysis of all mobile bla CMY-2-like genes indicated that those integrated in the P. mirabilis chromosome form a distinct cluster that may have evolved by the stepwise accumulation of mutations. All of these observations, coupled to strain typing data, suggest that the bla CMY genes studied here may have originated from a single ISEcp1-mediated mobilization-transfer-integration process, followed by the spread and evolution of a P. mirabilis clone over time and a large geographic area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2735-2742
Number of pages8
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology
  • Infectious Diseases


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