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Acquired Carbapenem-Hydrolyzing Beta-Lactamases and their Genetic Support

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Carbapenem-hydrolyzing ß-lactamases of several Ambler molecular classes have been reported as the source of acquired ß-lactam antibiotic resistance in Gram negative bacteria. The metallo-enzymes of Ambler class B are the most prevalent enzymes in this case. These clavulanic-acid resistant enzymes have a large spectrum of hydrolysis including penicillins, cephalosporins (third and fourth generations), carbapenems but not monobactams. They are responsible for acquired resistance in several Gram negative species of clinical relevance in human medicine. IMP-1 was the first reported as acquired in Japan, mostly from Serratia marcescens and Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates, and has been detected in Europe recently. Several variants of IMP-1 (IMP-2 to -9) have been characterized, possessing 85 to 99% amino acid identity, mostly from P. aeruginosa isolates. In addition, VIM-1 to -3 ß-lactamases have also been described, first in Europe (Italy, France, and Greece) and now in Korea. The VIM series shares 30% amino acid identity with the IMP-series. Most of these class B enzymes have genes that are integron- and plasmid-located. Finally, a few Ambler class A (SME-1, NMC-A, IMI-1, KPC-1) and class D (OXA-23 to -27) ß-lactamases involved in carbapenem hydrolysis have been reported also from rare isolates of Gramnegative rods. This review underlines the worldwide spread of carbapenem-hydrolyzing βlactamases as representing an important threat for efficacy of antibiotics in the near future.
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Keywords: blaim-1; blasme-1; carbapenem; chbetals; chbls; imp-1

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: June 1, 2002

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  • Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. Each issue of the journal contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics in both pre-clinical and clinical areas of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology is an essential journal for academic, clinical, government and pharmaceutical scientists who wish to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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