Antibiotics, Vol. 12, Pages 943: Genome-Based Retrospective Analysis of a Providencia stuartii Outbreak in Rome, Italy: Broad Spectrum IncC Plasmids Spread the NDM Carbapenemase within the Hospital

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Antibiotics, Vol. 12, Pages 943: Genome-Based Retrospective Analysis of a Providencia stuartii Outbreak in Rome, Italy: Broad Spectrum IncC Plasmids Spread the NDM Carbapenemase within the Hospital

Antibiotics doi: 10.3390/antibiotics12050943

Authors:
Valerio Capitani
Gabriele Arcari
Alessandra Oliva
Federica Sacco
Gaia Menichincheri
Linda Fenske
Riccardo Polani
Giammarco Raponi
Guido Antonelli
Alessandra Carattoli

Providencia stuartii is a member of the Morganellaceae family, notorious for its intrinsic resistance to several antibiotics, including last-resort drugs such as colistin and tigecycline. Between February and March 2022, a four-patient outbreak sustained by P. stuartii occurred in a hospital in Rome. Phenotypic analyses defined these strains as eXtensively Drug-Resistant (XDR). Whole-genome sequencing was performed on the representative P. stuartii strains and resulted in fully closed genomes and plasmids. The genomes were highly related phylogenetically and encoded various virulence factors, including fimbrial clusters. The XDR phenotype was primarily driven by the presence of the blaNDM-1 metallo-β-lactamase alongside the rmtC 16S rRNA methyltransferase, conferring resistance to most β-lactams and every aminoglycoside, respectively. These genes were found on an IncC plasmid that was highly related to an NDM-IncC plasmid retrieved from a ST15 Klebsiella pneumoniae strain circulating in the same hospital two years earlier. Given its ability to acquire resistance plasmids and its intrinsic resistance mechanisms, P. stuartii is a formidable pathogen. The emergence of XDR P. stuartii strains poses a significant public health threat. It is essential to monitor the spread of these strains and develop new strategies for their control and treatment.

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