Genomic and molecular characterization of clinical isolates of Enterobacteriaceae harboring mcr-1 in Colombia, 2002 to 2016

Sandra Yamile Saavedra, Lorena Diaz, Magdalena Wiesner, Adriana Correa, Stefany Alejandra Arévalo, Jinnethe Reyes, Andrea Melissa Hidalgo, Elsa De La Cadena, Marcela Perenguez, Lucy Angeline Montaño, Javier Ardila, Rafael Ríos, María Victoria Ovalle, Paula Díaz, Paola Porras, Maria V. Villegas, Cesar A. Arias, Mauricio Beltrán, Carolina Duarte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Polymyxins are last-resort antimicrobial agents used to treat infections caused by carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae. Due to the worldwide dissemination of polymyxin resistance in animal and human isolates, we aimed to characterize polymyxin resistance associated with the presence of mcr-1 in Enterobacteriaceae and nonfermenter Gram-negative bacilli, using isolates collected retrospectively in Colombia from 2002 to 2016. A total of 5,887 Gram-negative clinical isolates were studied, and 513 were found to be resistant to the polymyxins. Susceptibility to colistin was confirmed by broth microdilution for all mcr-1-positive isolates, and these were further subjected to whole-genome sequencing (WGS). The localization of mcr-1 was confirmed by S1 pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (S1-PFGE) and CeuI-PFGE hybridization. Transferability was evaluated by mating assays. A total of 12 colistin-resistant isolates recovered after 2013 harbored mcr-1, including 8 Escherichia coli, 3 Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, and 1 Klebsiella pneumoniae isolate. E. coli isolates were unrelated by PFGE and belonged to 7 different sequence types (STs) and phylogroups. S. Typhimurium and K. pneumoniae isolates belonged to ST34 and ST307, respectively. The mcr-1 gene was plasmid borne in all isolates but two E. coli isolates which harbored it on the chromosome. Conjugation of mcr-1 was successful in 8 of 10 isolates (8.2 105 to 2.07 101 cell per recipient). Plasmid sequences showed that the mcr-1 plasmids belonged to four different Inc groups (a new IncP-1 variant and the IncFII, IncHI1, and IncH families). Our results indicate that mcr-1 is circulating in clinical isolates of colistin-resistant Enterobacteriaceae in Colombia and is mainly harbored in transferable plasmids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00841
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • Colombia
  • Enterobacteriaceae
  • Genomic
  • mcr-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Genomic and molecular characterization of clinical isolates of Enterobacteriaceae harboring mcr-1 in Colombia, 2002 to 2016'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this