Genomic analysis of two drug-resistant clinical Morganella morganii strains isolated from UTI patients in Pretoria, South Africa

30 Mar 2020

Morganella morganii is an opportunistic bacterial pathogen of the Enterobacteriaceae family that is occasionally isolated from clinical (animal and human) specimens with varying resistance profiles. Detailed genomic analyses of drug‐resistant M. morganii strains are relatively limited, particularly in Africa, which is also due to their relatively low isolation rates from clinical settings. Here we report on two multidrug‐resistant clinical M. morganii isolates from urine specimens of two hospitalized patients in South Africa who presented with urinary tract infections in 2013. The isolates, M006 and E042, were only susceptible to carbapenems, amikacin and tigecycline. One strain, M006, had a novel class 1 integron, ln1484, associated with aadA7, sul1and gcuD gene cassettes and a Col3M plasmid replicase gene. The ln1484 intI1:aadA7:sul1 genes were bracketed by a TnAs3 composite transposon while a tet(B) gene was found on an IS4 family transposon. The rare blaDHA‐4 and blaDHA‐1 AmpC β‐lactamase genes were identified on the isolates’ chromosome. The isolates were phylogenetically distant and closely related to other international strains, suggesting that they were not obtained from a single epidemiological source. Further molecular surveillance is necessary to establish the prevalence of these MDR strains in the tertiary hospital. Moreover antibiotic stewardship and antibiotic sensitivity testing of all clinical isolates should be undertaken after empirical treatment to inform tailored therapy as well as reduce escalation of resistance and associated morbidities and mortalities.