FRI-2 carbapenemase-producing Enterobacter cloacae complex in the UK

Danièle Meunier, Jacqueline Findlay, Michel Doumith, Daniel Godoy, Claire Perry, Rachel Pike, Firza Gronthoud, Theresa Shryane, Laurent Poirel, William Welfare, Neil Woodford, Katie L Hopkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Detection of rarer carbapenemases is challenging, as it requires molecular assays with comprehensive coverage or the use of phenotypic methods for the detection of carbapenemase activity. We describe a new class A carbapenemase, FRI-2, in an Enterobacter cloacae complex isolate following implementation of an in-house multiplex PCR for the detection of 'rare' class A carbapenemases.

Methods: MICs were determined by agar dilution. A carbapenem-resistant E. cloacae complex isolate was tested by PCR for the class A carbapenemases bla KPC , bla FRI , bla IMI , bla GES and bla SME . Carbapenemase activity was assessed using Carba NP and the carbapenem inactivation method. Whole genome and plasmid analyses of the clinical isolate and the FRI-2 transformant were performed by WGS, respectively. Typing was carried out by PFGE.

Results: The E. cloacae complex isolate showed resistance to imipenem (MIC = 16 mg/L), meropenem (MIC = 8 mg/L) and ertapenem (MIC = 8 mg/L), but remained susceptible to piperacillin/tazobactam (MIC = 8 mg/L). Carbapenemase activity was confirmed in the isolate by both phenotypic methods. A bla FRI-1-like gene was detected by PCR and analysis of WGS data of the clinical isolate identified an ORF of 885 bp , which showed 97% nucleotide identity with bla FRI-1 and was named bla FRI-2 . WGS of the transformant indicated bla FRI-2 was located on a 108 kb IncF/IncR plasmid. The FRI-2-positive E. cloacae complex isolate belonged to a novel ST (ST829).

Conclusions: The possible circulation of rarer carbapenemases in clinical settings highlights the role of phenotypic tests to detect carbapenemase activity when molecular assays are negative for the 'big 5' carbapenemase families.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2017


  • Journal Article


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