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France is a low prevalence country for colistin resistance. Molecular and epidemiological events contributing to the emergence of resistance to colistin, one of the 'last-resort' antibiotics to treat multidrug-resistant Gram-negative infections, are important to investigate.


This retrospective (2014 to 2017) observational study aimed to identify risk factors associated with acquisition of colistin-resistant (CRKP) in hospitals in Marseille, France, and to molecularly characterise clinical isolates.


To identify risk factors for CRKP, a matched-case–control (1:2) study was performed in two groups of patients with CRKP or colistin-susceptible respectively. Whole-genome-sequences (WGS) of CRKP were compared with 6,412 genomes available at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).


Multivariate analysis identified male sex and contact with a patient carrying a CRKP as significant independent factors (p < 0.05) for CRKP acquisition, but not colistin administration. WGS of nine of 14 CRKP clinical isolates belonged to the same sequence type (ST)307. These isolates were from patients who had been hospitalised in the same wards, suggesting an outbreak. Comparison of the corresponding strains’ WGS to genomes in NCBI revealed that in chromosomal genes likely playing a role in colistin resistance, a subset of five specific mutations were significantly associated with ST307 (p < 0.001).


A ST307 CRKP clone was identified in this study, with specific chromosomal mutations in genes potentially implicated in colistin resistance. ST307 might have a propensity to be or become resistant to colistin, however confirming this requires further investigations.


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