High Prevalence and Mechanism Associated With Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase-Positive Phenotype in Laribacter hongkongensis

Jade L.L. Teng, Ruibang Luo, Bone S.F. Tang, Jordan Y.H. Fong, Li Wang, Lilong Jia, Chloe K.S. Wong, Elaine Chan, Amy W.S. Leung, Gilman K.H. Siu, Tsz Ho Chiu, Ami M.Y. Fung, Alan K.L. Wu, Man Lung Yeung, Susanna K.P. Lau, Patrick C.Y. Woo

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we reported the prevalence and mechanism associated with the extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-positive phenotype in Laribacter hongkongensis isolated from patients and fish. Using the inhibition zone enhancement test, 20 (95.2%) of the 21 patient strains and 8 (57.1%) of the 14 fish strains were tested ESBL-positive. However, ESBL genes, including SHV, TEM, CTX-M, GES, and PER, were not detected in all of these 28 L. hongkongensis isolates. No ESBL gene could be detected in either the complete genome of L. hongkongensis HLHK9 or the draft genome of PW3643. PCR and DNA sequencing revealed that all the 35 L. hongkongensis isolates (showing both ESBL-positive and ESBL-negative phenotypes) were positive for the ampC gene. When the AmpC deletion mutant, HLHK9ΔampC, was subject to the zone enhancement test, the difference of zone size between ceftazidime/clavulanate and ceftazidime was less than 5 mm. When boronic acid was added to the antibiotic disks, none of the 28 “ESBL-positive” isolates showed a ≥ 5 mm enhancement of inhibition zone size diameter between ceftazidime/clavulanate and ceftazidime and between cefotaxime/clavulanate and cefotaxime. A high prevalence (80%) of ESBL-positive phenotype is present in L. hongkongensis. Overall, our results suggested that the ESBL-positive phenotype in L. hongkongensis results from the expression of the intrinsic AmpC beta-lactamase. Confirmatory tests should be performed before issuing laboratory reports for L. hongkongensis isolates that are tested ESBL-positive by disk diffusion clavulanate inhibition test.

Original languageEnglish
Article number618894
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2021


  • AmpC beta-lactamase
  • ESBL
  • Laribacter hongkongensis
  • mechanism
  • prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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