VIM-1 carbapenemase-producing Escherichia coli isolated from retail seafood, Germany 2016.
Carbapenems belong to the group of last resort antibiotics in human medicine. Therefore, the emergence of growing numbers of carbapenemase-producing bacteria in food-producing animals or the environment is worrying and an important concern for the public health sector. In the present study, a set of 45 Enterobacteriaceae isolated from German retail seafood (clams and shrimps), sampled in 2016, were investigated by real-time PCR for the presence of carbapenemase-producing bacteria. One Escherichia coli (ST10), isolated from a Venus clam (Ruditapes philippinarum) harvested in the Mediterranean Sea (Italy), contained the carbapenemase gene blaVIM-1 as part of the variable region of a class I integron. Whole-genome sequencing indicated that the integron was embedded in a Tn3-like transposon that also contained the fluoroquinolone resistance gene qnrS1. Additional resistance genes such as the extended-spectrum beta-lactamase blaSHV-12 and the AmpC gene blaACC-1 were also present in this isolate. Except blaACC-1, all resistance genes were located on an IncY plasmid. These results confirm previous observations that carbapenemase-producing bacteria have reached the food chain and are of increasing concern for public health.