Does Acinetobacter baumannii Serve as a Source for blaNDM Dissemination into Enterobacteriaceae in Hospitalized Patients?

Amos Adler*, Rivka Glick, Ziv Lifshitz, Yehuda Carmeli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The goal was to study the possibility that Acinetobacter baumannii serve as an epidemiologically significant source for transmission of the blaNDM gene to Enterobacteriaceae by horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in hospitalized patients. The study was done at the Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center from December 2014 until August 2015. Clinical and surveillance rectal cultures were collected as per hospital policies and were analyzed for the presence of New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (NDME) and A. baumannii (NDMAb). Isolates were typed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). The location of the blaNDM gene within the Tn125 transposon was studied by sequencing. A transmission event (TE) was determined if patients shared the same PFGE type of either NDME or NDMAb and were simultaneous in the same ward. HGT-related TE was considered if the two isolates shared identical blaNDM gene allele and transposon. There were 16 NDMAb- (clinical, 10; surveillance, 4; both, 2) and 13 NDME- (clinical, 3; surveillance, 8; both, 2) infected/colonized patients. All NDMAb isolates except two harbored the blaNDM-1 allele that was located within a Tn125 transposon and was plasmid borne. The majority of patients (n = 10/16) were infected by one PFGE type of NDMAb, and five clonal TEs were identified. NDME were either Escherichia coli (n = 4) or Klebsiella pneumoniae (n = 9) of different PFGE types with only one NDME TE. The blaNDM gene was within a Tn125 in three K. pneumoniae isolates. Although one HGT-related TE between NDMAb and K. pneumoniae was epidemiologically suspected, the low similarity between the Tn125 transposons (75.7%) excluded that possibility. In conclusion, whereas NDMAb appears to disseminate by clonal spread, we did not find evidence for HGT-mediated transmission in NDME in hospitalized patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-153
Number of pages4
JournalMicrobial Drug Resistance
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • NDM
  • horizontal-gene transfer
  • transmission


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