Ninety-six genetically diverse multidrug-resistant clinical isolates of Acinetobacter baumannii from 25 hospitals in 17 European countries were screened by PCR for specific carbapenemase-hydrolyzing class D β-lactamase (CHDL) genes and by PCR-based replicon typing for the presence of 19 different plasmid replicase (rep) gene homology groups (GRs). Results were confirmed by DNA sequencing where necessary. All 96 isolates contained at least 1 (with a maximum of 4) of the 19 groups of rep genes. Groups detected were GR6 (repAci6; 93 isolates), GR2 (including repAci1 [67 isolates] and repAci2 [3 isolates]), GR16 (repApAB49; 12 isolates), GR12 (p2ABSDF0001; 10 isolates), GR3 (repAci3; 4 isolates), GR4 (repAci4; 3 isolates), GR10 (repAciX; 1 isolate), and GR14 (repp4AYE; 1 isolate). Variations in rep gene content were observed even among epidemiologically related isolates. Genes encoding OXA-58-like CHDLs (22 isolates) were associated with carriage of the repAci1, repAci3, repAci4, and repAciX genes, genes encoding OXA-40-like CHDLs (6 isolates) were associated with repAci2 and p2ABSDF0001, and genes encoding OXA-23-like CHDLs (8 isolates) were associated with repAci1. Most intrinsic Acinetobacter plasmids are non-self-transferable, but the almost ubiquitous repAci6 gene was strongly associated with a potential tra locus that could serve as a general system for plasmid mobilization and consequent horizontal transmission of plasmids and their associated antibiotic resistance genes among strains of A. baumannii.
- Acinetobacter baumannii