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Emergence of plasmid-mediated colistin resistance mechanism MCR-1 in animals and human beings in China: a microbiological and molecular biological study

Liu, Yi-Yun, Wang, Yang, Walsh, Timothy Rutland, Yi, Ling-Xian, Zhang, Rong, Spencer, James, Doi, Yohei, Tian, Guobao, Dong, Baolei, Huang, Xianhui, Yu, Lin-Feng, Gu, Danxia, Ren, Hongwei, Chen, Xiaojie, Lv, Luchao, He, Dandan, Zhou, Hongwei, Liang, Zisen, Liu, Jian-Hua and Shen, Jianzhong 2016. Emergence of plasmid-mediated colistin resistance mechanism MCR-1 in animals and human beings in China: a microbiological and molecular biological study. The Lancet Infectious Diseases 16 (2) , pp. 161-168. 10.1016/S1473-3099(15)00424-7

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Abstract

Background Until now, polymyxin resistance has involved chromosomal mutations but has never been reported via horizontal gene transfer. During a routine surveillance project on antimicrobial resistance in commensal Escherichia coli from food animals in China, a major increase of colistin resistance was observed. When an E coli strain, SHP45, possessing colistin resistance that could be transferred to another strain, was isolated from a pig, we conducted further analysis of possible plasmid-mediated polymyxin resistance. Herein, we report the emergence of the first plasmid-mediated polymyxin resistance mechanism, MCR-1, in Enterobacteriaceae. Methods The mcr-1 gene in E coli strain SHP45 was identified by whole plasmid sequencing and subcloning. MCR-1 mechanistic studies were done with sequence comparisons, homology modelling, and electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry. The prevalence of mcr-1 was investigated in E coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae strains collected from five provinces between April, 2011, and November, 2014. The ability of MCR-1 to confer polymyxin resistance in vivo was examined in a murine thigh model. Findings Polymyxin resistance was shown to be singularly due to the plasmid-mediated mcr-1 gene. The plasmid carrying mcr-1 was mobilised to an E coli recipient at a frequency of 10−1 to 10−3 cells per recipient cell by conjugation, and maintained in K pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In an in-vivo model, production of MCR-1 negated the efficacy of colistin. MCR-1 is a member of the phosphoethanolamine transferase enzyme family, with expression in E coli resulting in the addition of phosphoethanolamine to lipid A. We observed mcr-1 carriage in E coli isolates collected from 78 (15%) of 523 samples of raw meat and 166 (21%) of 804 animals during 2011–14, and 16 (1%) of 1322 samples from inpatients with infection. Interpretation The emergence of MCR-1 heralds the breach of the last group of antibiotics, polymyxins, by plasmid-mediated resistance. Although currently confined to China, MCR-1 is likely to emulate other global resistance mechanisms such as NDM-1. Our findings emphasise the urgent need for coordinated global action in the fight against pan-drug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Additional Information: Available online 19 November 2015
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1473-3099
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2019 12:32
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/87634

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