Imipenem resistance associated with the loss of a 40 kDa outer membrane protein in Enterobacter aerogenes

J Antimicrob Chemother. 1991 Oct;28(4):499-504. doi: 10.1093/jac/28.4.499.


An imipenem-resistant strain, Enterobacter aerogenes EA-Z, was isolated from a blood culture. Outer membrane protein (OMP) profiles indicated the loss of a 40 kDa OMP, decreased expression of 42 and 44 kDa OMPs, and increased expression of a 50 kDa OMP in strain EA-Z when compared with imipenem-susceptible clinical isolates of E. aerogenes. The OMP profile of EA-Z was similar to that of strain EA-SI16, an imipenem-resistant E. aerogenes second-step mutant selected on imipenem-containing media. A single-step imipenem-resistant mutant, EA-SI8, had lost expression of only the 40 kDa OMP. No new beta-lactamase could be detected by isoelectric focusing, and no increase in imipenem hydrolysis was seen when EA-Z was compared with imipenem-sensitive controls, even in the presence of added zinc. These data suggest that the 40 kDa OMP of E. aerogenes might be required for the normal diffusion of imipenem across the outer membrane.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteremia / microbiology
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / chemistry
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Hydrolysis
  • Imipenem / pharmacology*
  • Isoelectric Focusing
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / drug effects
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / enzymology
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / physiology*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • beta-Lactamases / analysis


  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • Imipenem
  • beta-Lactamases