Genetic determinants of antibiotic resistance (AR) have been extensively investigated. High-throughput sequencing allows for the assessment of the relationship between genotype and phenotype. A panel of 672 Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains was analysed, including representatives of globally disseminated multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant clones; genomes and multiple antibiograms were available. This panel was annotated for AR gene presence and polymorphism, defining a resistome in which integrons were included. Integrons were present in >70 distinct cassettes, with In5 being the most prevalent. Some cassettes closely associated with clonal complexes, whereas others spread across the phylogenetic diversity, highlighting the importance of horizontal transfer. A resistome-wide association study (RWAS) was performed for clinically relevant antibiotics by correlating the variability in minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values with resistome data. Resistome annotation identified 147 loci associated with AR. These loci consisted mainly of acquired genomic elements and intrinsic genes. The RWAS allowed for correct identification of resistance mechanisms for meropenem, amikacin, levofloxacin and cefepime, and added 46 novel mutations. Among these, 29 were variants of the oprD gene associated with variation in meropenem MIC. Using genomic and MIC data, phenotypic AR was successfully correlated with molecular determinants at the whole-genome sequence level.
Keywords: Antibiotic resistance; Integrons; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; RWAS; Resistance gene mapping; Resistome-wide association study.
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