Universidad de Buenos Aires, Facultad de Farmacia y Bioquímica, Cátedra de Microbiología, Laboratorio de Resistencia Bacteriana, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina; Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Argentina. Electronic address: [Email]
Different phenotype-based techniques and molecular tools were used to describe the distribution of different Achromobacter species in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) in Argentina, and to evaluate their antibiotic resistance profile. Phenotypic identification was performed by conventional biochemical tests, commercial galleries and MALDI-TOF MS. Genetic approaches included the detection of A. xylosoxidans specific marker blaoxa-114, the amplification and sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, nrdA and blaOXA complete sequence, and MLST analysis. Phenotypic approaches, even MALDI-TOF, rendered inconclusive or misleading results. On the contrary, concordant results were achieved with the nrdA sequencing or sequence type (ST) analysis, and the complete blaOXA sequencing, allowing a reliable discrimination of different Achromobacter species. A. xylosoxidans accounted for 63% of Achromobacter infections and A. ruhlandii accounted for 17%. The remaining species corresponded to A. insuavis, A. dolens, A. marplatensis and A. pulmonis. Antimicrobial susceptibilities were determined by the agar dilution method according to CLSI guidelines. Piperacillin, piperacillin/tazobactam and carbapenems were the most active antibiotics. However, the emergence of carbapenem-resistant isolates was detected. In conclusion, prompt and accurate identification tools were necessary to determine that different Achromobacter species may colonize/infect the airways of patients with CF. Moreover, antimicrobial therapy should be administered based on the susceptibility profile of individual Achromobacter sp. isolates.