Concurrent Resistance to Carbapenem and Colistin Among Enterobacteriaceae Recovered From Human and Animal Sources in Nigeria Is Associated With Multiple Genetic Mechanisms

Front Microbiol. 2021 Oct 6:12:740348. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2021.740348. eCollection 2021.


Resistance to last resort drugs such as carbapenem and colistin is a serious global health threat. This study investigated carbapenem and colistin resistance in 583 non-duplicate Enterobacteriaceae isolates utilizing phenotypic methods and whole genome sequencing (WGS). Of the 583 isolates recovered from humans, animals and the environment in Nigeria, 18.9% (110/583) were resistant to at least one carbapenem (meropenem, ertapenem, and imipenem) and 9.1% (53/583) exhibited concurrent carbapenem-colistin resistance. The minimum inhibitory concentrations of carbapenem and colistin were 2-32 μg/mL and 8 to >64 μg/mL, respectively. No carbapenem resistant isolates produced carbapenemase nor harbored any known carbapenemase producing genes. WGS supported that concurrent carbapenem-colistin resistance was mediated by novel and previously described alterations in chromosomal efflux regulatory genes, particularly mgrB (M1V) ompC (M1_V24del) ompK37 (I70M, I128M) ramR (M1V), and marR (M1V). In addition, alterations/mutations were detected in the etpA, arnT, ccrB, pmrB in colistin resistant bacteria and ompK36 in carbapenem resistant bacteria. The bacterial isolates were distributed into 37 sequence types and characterized by the presence of internationally recognized high-risk clones. The results indicate that humans and animals in Nigeria may serve as reservoirs and vehicles for the global spread of the isolates. Further studies on antimicrobial resistance in African countries are warranted.

Keywords: Africa; Enterobacteriaceae; Nigeria; concurrent carbapenem-colistin resistance; high-risk clones; whole genome sequencing.