Image_1_Acquisition of Tigecycline Resistance by Carbapenem-Resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae Confers Collateral Hypersensitivity to Aminoglycosides.tif (265.07 kB)
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posted on 02.07.2021, 16:10 authored by Hua-le Chen, Yan Jiang, Mei-mei Li, Yao Sun, Jian-ming Cao, Cui Zhou, Xiao-xiao Zhang, Yue Qu, Tie-li Zhou

Tigecycline is a last-resort antibiotic for infections caused by carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (CRKP). This study aimed to broaden our understanding of the acquisition of collateral hypersensitivity by CRKP, as an evolutionary trade-off of developing resistance to tigecycline. Experimental induction of tigecycline resistance was conducted with tigecycline-sensitive CRKP clinical isolates. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing, microbial fitness assessment, genotypic analysis and full-genome sequencing were carried out for these clinical isolates and their resistance-induced descendants. We found that tigecycline resistance was successfully induced after exposing CRKP clinical isolates to tigecycline at gradually increased concentrations, at a minor fitness cost of bacterial cells. Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) found higher expression of the efflux pump gene acrB (5.3–64.5-fold) and its regulatory gene ramA (7.4–65.8-fold) in resistance-induced strains compared to that in the tigecycline-sensitive clinical isolates. Stable hypersensitivities to aminoglycosides and other antibiotics were noticed in resistance-induced strains, showing significantly lowered MICs (X 4 – >500 times). Full genome sequencing and plasmid analysis suggested the induced collateral hypersensitivity might be multifaceted, with the loss of an antimicrobial resistance (AMR) plasmid being a possible major player. This study rationalized the sequential combination of tigecycline with aminoglycosides for the treatment of CRKP infections.

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