Genomic islands 1 and 2 play key roles in the evolution of extensively drug-resistant ST235 isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Piklu Roy Chowdhury, Martin Scott, Paul Worden, Peter Huntington, Bernard Hudson, Thomas Karagiannis, Ian G. Charles, Steven P. Djordjevic

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38 Citations (Scopus)


Pseudomonas aeruginosa are noscomially acquired, opportunistic pathogens that pose a major threat to the health of burns patients and the immunocompromised. We sequenced the genomes of P. aeruginosa isolates RNS-PA1, RNS-PA46 and RNS-PAE05, which displayed resistance to almost all frontline antibiotics, including gentamicin, piperacillin, timentin, meropenem, ceftazidime and Colistin. We provide evidence that the isolates are representatives of P. aeruginosa sequence type (ST) 235 and carry Tn6162 and Tn6163 in genomic islands 1 (GI1) and 2 (GI2), respectively. Gil disrupts the endA gene at precisely the same chromosomal location as in P. aeruginosa strain VR-143/97, of unknown ST, creating an identical CA direct repeat. The class 1 integron associated with Tn6163 in GI2 carries a bla GES-5 -aacA4-gcuE15-aphA15 cassette array conferring resistance to carbapenems and aminoglycosides. GI2 is flanked by a 12 nt direct repeat motif, abuts a tRNA-gly gene, and encodes proteins with putative roles in integration, conjugative transfer as well as integrative conjugative element-specific proteins. This suggests that GI2 may have evolved from a novel integrative conjugative element. Our data provide further support to the hypothesis that genomic islands play an important role in de novo evolution of multiple antibiotic resistance phenotypes in P. aeruginosa.

Original languageEnglish
Article number150175
JournalOpen Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • Class 1 integron
  • Genomic island
  • Multiple drug resistance
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • β-lactamases

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