Antimicrobial susceptibility and characterization of resistance mechanisms of corynebacterium urealyticum clinical isolates

Itziar Chapartegui-González, Marta Fernández-Martínez, Ana Rodríguez-Fernández, Danilo J.P. Rocha, Eric R.G.R. Aguiar, Luis G.C. Pacheco, José Ramos-Vivas, Jorge Calvo, Luis Martínez-Martínez, Jesús Navas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Corynebacterium urealyticum is a non-diphtherial urease-producing clinically relevant corynebacterial, most frequently involved in urinary tract infections. Most of the C. urealyticum clinical isolates are frequently resistant to several antibiotics. We investigated the susceptibility of 40 C. urealyticum isolated in our institution during the period 2005–2017 to eight compounds representative of the main clinically relevant classes of antimicrobial agents. Antimicrobial susceptibility was determined by the Epsilometer test. Resistance genes were searched by PCR. All strains were susceptible to vancomycin whereas linezolid and rifampicin also showed good activity (MICs90 = 1 and 0.4 mg/L, respectively). Almost all isolates (39/40, 97.5%) were multidrug resistant. The highest resistance rate was observed for ampicillin (100%), followed by erythromycin (95%) and levofloxacin (95%). Ampicillin resistance was associated with the presence of the blaA gene, encoding a class A β-lactamase. The two rifampicin-resistant strains showed point mutations driving amino acid replacements in conserved residues of RNA polymerase subunit β (RpoB). Tetracycline resistance was due to an efflux-mediated mechanism. Thirty-nine PFGE patterns were identified among the 40 C. urealyticum, indicating that they were not clonally related, but producing sporadic infections. These findings raise the need of maintaining surveillance strategies among this multidrug resistant pathogen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number404
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Antimicrobials
  • Corynebacterium urealyticum
  • Coryneform
  • Multidrug resistance
  • Whole genome sequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Biochemistry
  • Microbiology


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