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Abstract

Imipenemase (IMP) carbapenemase genes are relatively rare among in the UK. Emergence in multiple hospitals, in different strains and species, prompted an investigation into their genetic context.

Our goal was to identify and describe the elements carrying genes in a variety of from five hospitals in the UK.

Long-read nanopore sequencing was carried out on 18 IMP-positive isolates belonging to 6 species. The locations of the genes and other associated genetic elements were identified.

Ten out of 18 isolates carried on an IncN3 plasmid (52–57 kb) in an In1763 class 1 integron. These plasmids also contained genes encoding type IV secretion and conjugal transfer proteins. Five out of 18 isolates carried in the same In1763 integron in much larger IncHI2 plasmids. A further isolate carried the In1763 integron in a chromosomally located plasmid fragment. Two isolates carried in IncHI2 plasmids. The isolates included three representatives of sequence type 20 of , with one carrying a distinct plasmid from the other two.

Highly similar IncN3 plasmids were found in a range of , mostly and the complex, from three of four London hospitals, with the same In1763 integron carrying also being found in IncHI2 plasmids and chromosomally. These plasmids carried multiple elements facilitating self-transmission. Strain typing alone was not sufficient to investigate cross-infection among this set of isolates, many of which appeared to be unrelated until plasmid analysis was undertaken, and vice versa.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • Frances Davies , Medical Research Council , (Award MR/T005254/1)
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/content/journal/jmm/10.1099/jmm.0.001193
2020-05-05
2020-06-04
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