Taxonomic position, antibiotic resistance and virulence factor production by Stenotrophomonas isolates from patients with cystic fibrosis and other chronic respiratory infections

Ad C. Fluit*, Jumamurat R. Bayjanov, María Díez Aguilar, Rafael Cantón, Stuart Elborn, Michael M. Tunney, Jelle Scharringa, Barry J. Benaissa-Trouw, Miquel B. Ekkelenkamp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

Background: The potential pathogenic role of Stenotrophomonas maltophilia in lung disease and in particular in cystic fibrosis is unclear. To develop further understanding of the biology of this taxa, the taxonomic position, antibiotic resistance and virulence factors of S. maltophilia isolates from patients with chronic lung disease were studied. Results: A total of 111 isolates recovered between 2003 and 2016 from respiratory samples from patients in five different countries were included. Based on a cut-off of 95%, analysis of average nucleotide identity by BLAST (ANIb) showed that the 111 isolates identified as S. maltophilia by Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF/MS) belonged to S. maltophilia (n = 65), S. pavanii (n = 6) and 13 putative novel species (n = 40), which each included 1–5 isolates; these groupings coincided with the results of the 16S rDNA analysis, and the L1 and L2 ß-lactamase Neighbor-Joining phylogeny. Chromosomally encoded aminoglycoside resistance was identified in all S. maltophilia and S. pavani isolates, while acquired antibiotic resistance genes were present in only a few isolates. Nevertheless, phenotypic resistance levels against commonly used antibiotics, determined by standard broth microbroth dilution, were high. Although putative virulence genes were present in all isolates, the percentage of positive isolates varied. The Xps II secretion system responsible for the secretion of the StmPr1–3 proteases was mainly limited to isolates identified as S. maltophilia based on ANIb, but no correlation with phenotypic expression of protease activity was found. The RPF two-component quorum sensing system involved in virulence and antibiotic resistance expression has two main variants with one variant lacking 190 amino acids in the sensing region. Conclusions: The putative novel Stenotrophomonas species recovered from patient samples and identified by MALDI-TOF/MS as S. maltophilia, differed from S. maltophilia in resistance and virulence genes, and therefore possibly in pathogenicity. Revision of the Stenotrophomonas taxonomy is needed in order to reliably identify strains within the genus and elucidate the role of the different species in disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number129
JournalBMC Microbiology
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Respiratory infection
  • Stenotrophomonas
  • Taxonomy
  • Virulence

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