BACKGROUND: Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii is considered a top priority pathogen by the World Health Organization for combatting increasing antibiotic resistance and development of new drugs. Since it was originally reported in Klebsiella pneumoniae in 2009, the quick spread of the bla gene encoding a New-Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase-1 (NDM-1) is increasingly recognized as a serious threat. This gene is usually carried by large plasmids and has already been documented in diverse bacterial species, including A. baumannii. Here, we report the first detection of a NDM-1-producing A. baumannii strain isolated in Benin.
CASE PRESENTATION: A 31-year-old woman was admitted to a surgical unit with a diagnosis of post-cesarean hematoma. An extensively-drug resistant A. baumannii strain solely susceptible to amikacin, colistin and ciprofloxacin, and resistant to several other antibiotics including ceftazidime, imipenem, meropenem, gentamicin, tobramycin, ceftazidime/avibactam, and sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim, was isolated from the wound. Production of NDM-1 was demonstrated by immunochromatographic testing. Whole genome sequencing of the isolate confirmed the presence of bla, but also antibiotic resistance genes against multiple beta-lactamases and other classes of antibiotics, in addition to several virulence genes. Moreover, the bla gene was found to be present in a Tn125 transposon integrated on a plasmid.
CONCLUSIONS: The discovery of this extensively-drug resistant A. baumannii strain carrying bla in Benin is worrying, especially because of its high potential risk of horizontal gene transfer due to being integrated into a transposon located on a plasmid. Strict control and prevention measures should be taken, once NDM-1 positive A. baumannii has been identified to prevent transfer of this resistance gene to other Enterobacterales. Capacity building is required by governmental agencies to provide suitable antibiotic treatment options and strategies, in combination with strengthening laboratory services for detection and surveillance of this pathogen.