Molecular characterization of metallo-beta-lactamase-producing Acinetobacter baumannii and Acinetobacter genomospecies 3 from Korea: identification of two new integrons carrying the bla(VIM-2) gene cassettes

J Antimicrob Chemother. 2002 May;49(5):837-40. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkf043.


Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter spp. used to be rare, but are increasingly isolated in Korea. Among 28 isolates of imipenem-resistant Acinetobacter spp. found in a Korean hospital in 1998 and 1999, 14 produced metallo-beta-lactamases. The bla(VIM-2) gene was detected, by PCR, in 11 and two isolates of Acinetobacter baumannii and Acinetobacter genomospecies 3, respectively, and bla(IMP-1) in one isolate of A. baumannii. The MICs of imipenem for the isolates were 8-32 mg/L. PFGE analysis of SmaI-digested genomic DNA gave identical patterns in eight of 11 bla(VIM-2)-positive A. baumannii isolates from respiratory specimens of ICU patients. The bla(VIM-2) gene cassettes in the isolates are identical to those from Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates in Europe, but are inserted into new class I integrons In105 and In106. The attC site of the last cassette of the array in In106 is interrupted by the insertion of a putative class II intron. This is the first report of VIM-2 beta-lactamase-producing A. baumannii and Acinetobacter genomospecies 3. Production of the VIM-2 enzyme presents an emerging threat of carbapenem resistance among Acinetobacter spp. in Korea.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acinetobacter / drug effects*
  • Acinetobacter / genetics
  • Acinetobacter Infections / microbiology*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Humans
  • Imipenem / pharmacology
  • Integrins / genetics
  • Korea
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • beta-Lactamases / biosynthesis
  • beta-Lactamases / genetics*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Integrins
  • Imipenem
  • beta-lactamase IMP-1
  • beta-lactamase bla(vim-2)
  • beta-Lactamases