Development of antibiotic resistance in the ocular Pseudomonas aeruginosa clone ST308 over twenty years
Reference: Experimental Eye Research (2021) 205: 108504

Corneal infection caused by a bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa is common cause of ocular morbidity. Increasing antibiotic resistance by ocular P. aeruginosa is an emerging concern. In this study the resistome of ocular isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa clone ST308 isolated in India in 1997 (PA31, PA32, PA33, PA35 and PA37) and 2018 (PA198 and PA219) were investigated. All the isolates of ST308 had >95% nucleotide similarity. The isolates from 2018 had larger genomes, coding sequences, accessory and pan genes compared to the older isolates from 1997. The 2018 isolate PA219 was resistant to all antibiotics except polymyxin B, while the 2018 isolate PA198 was resistant to ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, gentamicin and tobramycin. Among the isolates from 1997, five were resistant to gentamicin, tobramycin and ciprofloxacin, four were resistant to levofloxacin while two were resistant to polymyxin B. Twenty-four acquired resistance genes were present in the 2018 isolates compared to 11 in the historical isolates. All isolates contained genes encoding for aminoglycoside (aph(6)-Id, aph(3′)-lIb, aph(3″)-Ib), beta-lactam (blaPAO), tetracycline (tet(G)), fosfomycin (fosA), chloramphenicol (catB7), sulphonamide (sul1), quaternary ammonium (qacEdelta1) and fluoroquinolone (crpP) resistance. Isolate PA198 possessed aph(3′)-VI, rmtD2, qnrVC1, blaOXA-488, blaPME-1, while PA219 possessed aadA1, rmtB, qnrVC1, aac(6′)-Ib-cr, blaTEM-1B, blaVIM-2, blaPAO-1, mph(E), mph(A), msr(E). In both recent isolates qnrVC1 was present in Tn3 transposon. In 219 blaTEM-1 was carried on a transposon and blaOXA-10 on a class 1 integron. There were no notable differences in the number of single nucleotide polymorphisms, but recent isolates carried more insertions and deletions in their genes. These findings suggest that genomes of P. aeruginosa ocular clonal strains with >95% nucleotide identity isolated twenty years apart had changed over time with the acquisition of resistance genes. The pattern of gene mutations also varied with more insertions and deletions in their chromosomal genes which confer resistance to antibiotics.

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Willcox M.D.P., Rice S. A., Sharma S., Stapleton F.,