SHV β-lactamases : DNA diagnostics and evolution

Hammond, David Scott (2006) SHV β-lactamases : DNA diagnostics and evolution. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


TEM and SHV β-lactamases are the most prevalent β-lactamases among Gram-negative bacteria. The introduction and widespread use of expanded-spectrum antibiotics, particularly third generation cephalosporins, has led to the evolution of bacterial strains expressing extended spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs). ESBLs emerge by genetic point mutation from non-extended spectrum precursors.

It was found that multiple β-lactamase families within single isolates complicate the process of detecting the resistance status of isolate using non-quantitative DNA diagnostic methods. Preliminary phenotypic characterisation of probable β-lactamase enzyme family types present in 100 isolates from the Asia-Pacific and South African locales showed that single isolates frequently contained multiple β-lactamase families. SHV, TEM, AMPC and CTX-M β-lactamase families were detected in these isolates using PCR detection methods. Ninety-eight percent of all isolates tested contained as least one β-lactamase gene, with up to four to β-lactamase gene families found to co-exist in single isolates. Kinetic PCR methods for interrogating the polymorphic sites at blaSHV codons 238 & 240 and blaTEM codons 164, 238, 240 as well as promoter polymorphism were developed. A high proportion of blaSHV 238 and 240 mutant alleles was found to correlate with cefotaxime, ceftazidime and aztreonam resistance levels.

In an attempt to understand the molecular basis for the co-existence of multiple blaSHV alleles within single isolates, the blaSHV promoter region was cloned from one ESBL expressing isolate. Experimental results showed that blaSHV can exist downstream of two different promoters within a single isolate. Both promoters have previously been reported, and differ by the presence or absence of IS26, which results in a change in the transcription initiation site. The blaSHV gene copy numbers in cis with the different promoters were measured, and it was found that the copy number of the IS26::blaSHV promoter was positively correlated with resistance levels.

Cloning and analysis of PCR products showed that different blaSHV variants existed in cis with promoters in individual isolates. However, mutant genes were more abundant downstream of the IS26 promoter. There were no ESBL+ isolates without this promoter. It was concluded that blaSHV in cis with the IS26 promoter is located on an amplifiable replicon, and the presence of the IS26 insertion may facilitate the acquisition of an ESBL+ phenotype.

To further confirm the role of IS26 in resistance acquisition, ESBL negative isolates were subjected to serial passage in vitro evolution experiments and fluctuation assays. Results confirm that the insertion of the IS26 element upstream of blaSHV is positively correlated with the ability to exhibit an ESBL phenotype, when such isolates also contain the critical G238S substitution. It was also found that IS26 can catalyse the duplication and mobilisation of blaSHV within an isolate. Fluctuation experiments have shown that the frequency at which such genomic events occur resulting in ESBL phenotypes is extremely low and requires many generations of selection under sub-lethal conditions.

A survey of a geographically diverse set of isolates has shown that IS26-blaSHV was found in all of the bacterial populations surveyed. However, it does not appear to be exclusively associated with SHV-mediated ESBL production.

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ID Code: 16194
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Giffard, Philip & Huygens, Flavia
Keywords: blaSHV, blaTEM, IS26, extended spectrum beta lactamase, ESBL, SENTRY, kinetic PCR, in vitro evolution, serial passage, MSS maximum likelihood, spontaneous mutagenesis, cefotaxime resistance, β-lactamase, SHV
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Past > Schools > School of Life Sciences
Department: Faculty of Science
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright David Scott Hammond
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 03:58
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2016 04:08

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