Antibiotic resistance markers in burkholderia pseudomallei strain Bp1651 identified by genome sequence analysis

Julia V. Bugrysheva, David Sue, Jay E. Gee, Mindy G. Elrod, Alex R. Hoffmaster, Linnell B. Randall, Sunisa Chirakul, Apichai Tuanyok, Herbert P. Schweizer, Linda M. Weigel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Burkholderia pseudomallei Bp1651 is resistant to several classes of antibiotics that are usually effective for treatment of melioidosis, including tetracyclines, sulfonamides, and β-lactams such as penicillins (amoxicillin-clavulanic acid), cephalosporins (ceftazidime), and carbapenems (imipenem and meropenem). We sequenced, assembled, and annotated the Bp1651 genome and analyzed the sequence using comparative genomic analyses with susceptible strains, keyword searches of the annotation, publicly available antimicrobial resistance prediction tools, and published reports. More than 100 genes in the Bp1651 sequence were identified as potentially contributing to antimicrobial resistance. Most notably, we identified three previously uncharacterized point mutations in penA, which codes for a class A β-lactamase and was previously implicated in resistance to β-lactam antibiotics. The mutations result in amino acid changes T147A, D240G, and V261I. When individually introduced into select agent-excluded B. pseudomallei strain Bp82, D240G was found to contribute to ceftazidime resistance and T147A contributed to amoxicillin-clavulanic acid and imipenem resistance. This study provides the first evidence that mutations in penA may alter susceptibility to carbapenems in B. pseudomallei. Another mutation of interest was a point mutation affecting the dihydrofolate reductase gene folA, which likely explains the trimethoprim resistance of this strain. Bp1651 was susceptible to aminoglycosides likely because of a frameshift in the amrB gene, the transporter subunit of the AmrAB-OprA efflux pump. These findings expand the role of penA to include resistance to carbapenems and may assist in the development of molecular diagnostics that predict antimicrobial resistance and provide guidance for treatment of melioidosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00010-17
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Burkholderia pseudomallei
  • Genome sequence
  • PenA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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