Two clinical isolates, an Escherichia coli and a Klebsiella pneumoniae, with decreased susceptibility to carbapenems were studied. This phenotype was associated with production of novel GES/IBC variant beta-lactamases, designated GES-3 (from E. coli) and GES-4 (from K. pneumoniae), exhibiting carbapenemase activity. Both enzymes possessed Ser at Ambler's position 170 instead of Gly found in the beta-lactamases GES-1 and IBC-1 that lack carbapenemase activity. Additionally, position 104 in GES-4 was occupied by a Lys as in IBC-1. bla(GES-3) and bla(GES-4) occurred as gene cassettes in the variable regions of class 1 integrons carried by plasmids. The structure of the GES-4-encoding integron was similar to that of previously described IBC-1 integrons. The GES-3-encoding integron was, most likely, truncated at the 3' conserved segment.
Copyright 2004 Federation of European Microbiological Societies