Objectives: To undertake a Spanish nationwide survey on Pseudomonas aeruginosa molecular epidemiology and antimicrobial resistance.
Methods: Up to 30 consecutive healthcare-associated P. aeruginosa isolates collected in 2017 from each of 51 hospitals were studied. MICs of 13 antipseudomonal agents were determined by broth microdilution. Horizontally acquired β-lactamases were detected by phenotypic methods and PCR. Clonal epidemiology was evaluated through PFGE and MLST; at least one XDR isolate from each clone and hospital (n = 185) was sequenced.
Results: The most active antipseudomonals against the 1445 isolates studied were colistin and ceftolozane/tazobactam (both 94.6% susceptible, MIC50/90 = 1/2 mg/L) followed by ceftazidime/avibactam (94.2% susceptible, MIC50/90 = 2/8 mg/L). Up to 252 (17.3%) of the isolates were XDR. Carbapenemases/ESBLs were detected in 3.1% of the isolates, including VIM, IMP, GES, PER and OXA enzymes. The most frequent clone among the XDR isolates was ST175 (40.9%), followed by CC235 (10.7%), ST308 (5.2%) and CC111 (4.0%). Carbapenemase production varied geographically and involved diverse clones, including 16.5% of ST175 XDR isolates. Additionally, 56% of the sequenced XDR isolates showed horizontally acquired aminoglycoside-modifying enzymes, which correlated with tobramycin resistance. Two XDR isolates produced QnrVC1, but fluoroquinolone resistance was mostly caused by QRDR mutations. Beyond frequent mutations (>60%) in OprD and AmpC regulators, four isolates showed AmpC mutations associated with resistance to ceftolozane/tazobactam and ceftazidime/avibactam.
Conclusions: ST175 is the most frequent XDR high-risk clone in Spanish hospitals, but this nationwide survey also indicates a complex scenario in which major differences in local epidemiology, including carbapenemase production, need to be acknowledged in order to guide antimicrobial therapy.
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