Chapter 22 : Epidemiology and Evolution of Beta-Lactamases

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Genes participating in the synthesis and metabolism of the cell wall might have a common ancestor with well-disseminated beta-lactamase genes (bla genes) in pathogenic bacteria. Moreover, some of the most successful beta-lactamases have evolved by mobilization from chromosomal bla genes in environmental bacteria, and their evolution in pathogenic bacteria has been accelerated by the extensive use of beta-lactams in the clinical field over the past 70 years. The most widespread plasmid-mediated beta-lactamases are also represented in some of these subgroups such as penicillinase from Staphylococcus aureus (group 2a) or TEM-1 and SHV-1 enzymes (group 2b) and those that have suffered important evolutionary processes in the past years such as extended spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs) (group 2be). The ancient evolution of beta-lactamases can now be hypothesized with the aid of structural phylogenetic analysis. The majority of bla genes encoding B1 and B2 beta-lactamases are located on the chromosome but have been recently mobilized at least twice to plasmids, once for the VIM-group and once for the IMP group. The number of studies of phylogenetic groups in Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates is scarce and has mainly focused on their relationship with chromosomal beta-lactamases. The production of virulence markers has been associated with specific clones. This is the case of extraintestinal pathogenic CTX-M-producing Escherichia coli isolates that were compared in a recent study with non-ESBL producers.

Citation: Cantón R. 2008. Epidemiology and Evolution of Beta-Lactamases, p 249-270. In Baquero F, Nombela C, Cassell G, Gutiérrez-Fuentes J (ed), Evolutionary Biology of Bacterial and Fungal Pathogens. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815639.ch22
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Image of Figure 1.
Figure 1.

Schematic representation of homologous positions and amino acid sequences between beta-lactamases and PBPs (data are from Massova and Mobashery, 1998, and Bush, 1997).

Citation: Cantón R. 2008. Epidemiology and Evolution of Beta-Lactamases, p 249-270. In Baquero F, Nombela C, Cassell G, Gutiérrez-Fuentes J (ed), Evolutionary Biology of Bacterial and Fungal Pathogens. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815639.ch22
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Image of Figure 2.
Figure 2.

Schematic representation of phylogeny of serine beta-lactamases compared with DD-peptidases. Branch lengths are not proportional to distances (modified from Hall and Barlow, 2004 and Hall and Barlow, 2003).

Citation: Cantón R. 2008. Epidemiology and Evolution of Beta-Lactamases, p 249-270. In Baquero F, Nombela C, Cassell G, Gutiérrez-Fuentes J (ed), Evolutionary Biology of Bacterial and Fungal Pathogens. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815639.ch22
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Image of Figure 3.
Figure 3.

Increase in number of TEM, SHV, OXA, and CTX-M derivatives (data obtained from http://www.lahey.org/studies).

Citation: Cantón R. 2008. Epidemiology and Evolution of Beta-Lactamases, p 249-270. In Baquero F, Nombela C, Cassell G, Gutiérrez-Fuentes J (ed), Evolutionary Biology of Bacterial and Fungal Pathogens. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815639.ch22
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Image of Figure 4.
Figure 4.

Schematic structure of class 1 integrons bearing ISCR1 and containing bla CTX-M genes (based on available sequences of In117 [Valverde et al., 2006], InV117 [Soler Bistue et al., 2006], and In60 variants [Novais et al., 2006]). Each integron includes the conserved regions 5′CS and 3′CS flanking a variable number of gene cassettes followed by ISCR1, the bla CTX-M gene, sequences showing high homology with Kluyvera genomes (represented as open boxes, as open reading frames of different lengths and orientations have been described in bla CTX-M-2 and bla CTX-M-9 integrons), and a second copy of the 3′CS designated as 3′CS2 followed by a truncated Tn402-tni module. Sequences upstream and downstream of the integron correspond to the tnp module and mer operon of Tn21-like transposons, respectively. Vertical bars indicate terminal repeats of the integrons (white) or Tn21-transposons (black). The vertical hatched box indicates the presence of IS1326 and/or IS1353 within Tn402. The white arrow with adjacent circle (59-base element) symbolizes a gene cassette. A variable region may contain different gene cassette arrays. (This figure has been modified from reference Cantón and Coque, 2006.)

Citation: Cantón R. 2008. Epidemiology and Evolution of Beta-Lactamases, p 249-270. In Baquero F, Nombela C, Cassell G, Gutiérrez-Fuentes J (ed), Evolutionary Biology of Bacterial and Fungal Pathogens. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815639.ch22
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Image of Figure 5.
Figure 5.

Percentage of fecal carriers in nosocomial and outpatient settings and in healthy volunteers in two different periods (1991 and 2003) in Madrid (Spain) (data obtained from Valverde et al., 2004).

Citation: Cantón R. 2008. Epidemiology and Evolution of Beta-Lactamases, p 249-270. In Baquero F, Nombela C, Cassell G, Gutiérrez-Fuentes J (ed), Evolutionary Biology of Bacterial and Fungal Pathogens. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815639.ch22
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Generic image for table
Table 1.

Beta-lactamase classification a

Citation: Cantón R. 2008. Epidemiology and Evolution of Beta-Lactamases, p 249-270. In Baquero F, Nombela C, Cassell G, Gutiérrez-Fuentes J (ed), Evolutionary Biology of Bacterial and Fungal Pathogens. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815639.ch22
Generic image for table
Table 2.

Introduction of beta-lactam antibiotics in therapeutics and emergence of problems with beta-lactamase or beta-lactamases producing organisms in the clinical setting

Citation: Cantón R. 2008. Epidemiology and Evolution of Beta-Lactamases, p 249-270. In Baquero F, Nombela C, Cassell G, Gutiérrez-Fuentes J (ed), Evolutionary Biology of Bacterial and Fungal Pathogens. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815639.ch22
Generic image for table
Table 3.

Beta-lactamases and incompatibility group of plasmids

Citation: Cantón R. 2008. Epidemiology and Evolution of Beta-Lactamases, p 249-270. In Baquero F, Nombela C, Cassell G, Gutiérrez-Fuentes J (ed), Evolutionary Biology of Bacterial and Fungal Pathogens. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815639.ch22

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