Unravelling complex transposable elements surrounding blaGES-16 in a Pseudomonas aeruginosa ExoU strain

Ana Paula Streling, Rodrigo Cayô, Thais A. Catan, Thomas Jové, Fernanda F. Santos, Carolina S. Nodari, Blake Hanson, William R. Miller, William Shropshire, An Q. Dinh, Julival Ribeiro, Antonio C.C. Pignatari, Cesar A. Arias, Ana C. Gales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: We characterised the complex surrounding regions of blaGES-16 in a Pseudomonas aeruginosa exoU+ strain (P-10.226) in Brazil. Methods: Species identification was performed by MALDI-TOF MS, and the antimicrobial susceptibility profile was determined by broth microdilution based on European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST) breakpoints. The whole genome sequencing (WGS) of P-10.226 strain was performed using both short-read paired-end sequencing on the Illumina MiSeq platform as well as the long-read Oxford Nanopore MinION. Results: WGS analysis showed that P-10.226 carried blaGES-16, which was found as a gene cassette inserted into a novel class I integron, In1992 (aadB-blaOXA-56-blaGES-16-aadB-aadA6c), whose 3′-CS was truncated by a nested transposable element, IS5564::ISPa157. The structure was even more complex since IS6100-ΔIS6100 structure and a TnAs2-like harbouring the operon merRTPADE was found downstream In1992. Fragments of TnAs3 harbouring 25-bp imperfect inverted repeats were identified bordering the intl1 of In1992 and also flanking IS6100-ΔIS6100, which might be genetic marks of its previous presence in the genome. Interestingly, In1992 also shows a distinct cassette array from In581 (blaGES-16-dfrA22-aacA27-aadA1), which was previously reported in Serratia marcescens strains recovered in Brazil. Finally, exoU gene, which encodes a potent cytotoxin of type III secretion systems (T3SS) effector proteins from P. aeruginosa and is associated to severe infections, was also detected. Conclusion: We described the novel In1992 carrying blaGES-16 surrounded by complex transposition events in a XDR P. aeruginosa strain. The identification of many sets of direct repeats adjacent to TnAs3 fragments indicates a major past of transposition events that shaped the current genetic environment of In1992.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-147
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • Carbapenemase
  • Integron
  • Nonfermenting Gram-negative bacilli
  • Transposon
  • Virulence
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Humans
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa/genetics
  • Pseudomonas Infections/drug therapy
  • beta-Lactamases/genetics
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology
  • DNA Transposable Elements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology


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