BACKGROUND: Carbapenemases are a major concern for the treatment of infectious diseases caused by Gram-negative bacteria. Although plasmids are responsible for the spread of resistance genes among these pathogens, there is limited information on the nature of the mobile genetic elements carrying carbapenemases in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
METHODS: We combined data from two different next-generation sequencing platforms, Illumina HiSeq2000 and PacBio RSII, to obtain the complete nucleotide sequences of two blaVIM-1-carrying plasmids (pAMBL1 and pAMBL2) isolated from P. aeruginosa clinical isolates.
RESULTS: Plasmid pAMBL1 has 26 440 bp and carries a RepA_C family replication protein. pAMBL1 is similar to plasmids pNOR-2000 and pKLC102 from P. aeruginosa and pAX22 from Achromobacter xylosoxidans, which also carry VIM-type carbapenemases. pAMBL2 is a 24 133 bp plasmid with a replication protein that belongs to the Rep_3 family. It shows a high degree of homology with a fragment of the blaVIM-1-bearing plasmid pPC9 from Pseudomonas putida. Plasmid pAMBL2 carries three copies of the blaVIM-1 cassette in an In70 class 1 integron conferring, unlike pAMBL1, high-level resistance to carbapenems.
CONCLUSIONS: We present two new plasmids coding for VIM-1 carbapenemase from P. aeruginosa and report that the presence of three copies of blaVIM-1 in pAMBL2 produces high-level resistance to carbapenems.