Molecular mechanisms of fosfomycin resistance in clinical isolates of Escherichia coli.
In recent years, multidrug resistance of Escherichia coli has become a serious problem. However, resistance to fosfomycin (FOM) has been low. We screened E. coli clinical isolates with reduced susceptibility to FOM and characterized molecular mechanisms of resistance and reduced susceptibility of these strains. Ten strains showing reduced FOM susceptibility (MIC ≥ 8 μg/mL) in 211 clinical isolates were found and examined. Acquisition of genes encoding FOM-modifying enzyme genes (fos genes) and mutations in murA that underlie high resistance to FOM were not observed. We examined ability of FOM incorporation via glucose-6-phosphate (G6P) transporter and sn-glycerol-3-phosphate transporter. In ten strains, nine showed lack of growth on M9 minimum salt agar supplemented with G6P. Eight of the ten strains showed fluctuated induction by G6P of uhpT that encodes G6P transporter expression. Nucleotide sequences of the uhpT, uhpA, glpT, ptsI, and cyaA shared several deletions and amino acid mutations in the nine strains with lack of growth on G6P-supplemented M9 agar. In conclusion, reduction of uhpT function is largely responsible for the reduced sensitivity to FOM in clinical isolates that have not acquired FOM-modifying genes or mutations in murA. However, there are a few strains whose mechanisms of reduced susceptibility to FOM are still unclear.