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This study aimed to characterize the genomic context of the bla SPM-1 gene in Brazilian strains belonging to the pandemic Pseudomonas aeruginosa clone SP/ST277. WGS of clone SP/ST277 strains was performed using a Nextera paired-end library in an Illumina HiSeq 2500 sequencer. bla SPM-1 context was assessed by de novo assembly and gene prediction and annotation tools. bla SPM-1 was screened in P. aeruginosa genomes through BlastN, and comparative genomics were performed. The metallo-β-lactamase bla SPM-1 has been disseminated by the pandemic Brazilian P. aeruginosa clone SP/ST277. In spite of its association with the CR4 element and with the Tn4371 element, the overall bla SPM-1 genomic context remains uncharacterized and its determination is valuable to understanding gene dispersion dynamics and the consequent emergence of carbapenem resistance. In this study, bla SPM-1 and its surrounding sequences (CR4-groEL-bla SPM-1-CR4-groEL) were found in the variable region of an ICE-like element resembling Tn4371 (where ICE stands for integrative and conjugative element). This element, named ICETn4371 6061, had 46 ORFs, including the bicyclomycin resistance bcr1 gene. An integrase gene and a set of conjugative transfer genes were identified. Gene content and order were shared with other Tn4371-ICEs, presenting remarkable amino acid identities. bla SPM-1 and surrounding sequences were missing in ICETn4371 6061 of PS600-MA, another isolate belonging to clone SP/ST277, indicating their mobilization. Eight/nine P. aeruginosa genomes assigned to clone SP/ST277, by in silico MLST, harboured bla SPM-1 inserted into ICETn4371 6061. The presence of bla SPM-1 in a Tn4371-ICE with intact integration/conjugation modules demonstrated that, besides gene dispersion by clonal expansion of the pandemic SP/ST277 lineage, bla SPM-1 may be spread through ICE conjugation. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail:


Erica L Fonseca, Michel A Marin, Fernando Encinas, Ana Carolina P Vicente. Full characterization of the integrative and conjugative element carrying the metallo-β-lactamase bla SPM-1 and bicyclomycin bcr1 resistance genes found in the pandemic Pseudomonas aeruginosa clone SP/ST277. The Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy. 2015 Sep;70(9):2547-50

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PMID: 26093374

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