Genomic characterization of antimicrobial resistance, virulence, and phylogeny of the genus ochrobactrum

Yael Yagel, Stephanie Sestito, Yair Motro, Anat Shnaiderman-Torban, Boris Khalfin, Orly Sagi, Shiri Navon-Venezia, Amir Steinman, Jacob Moran-Gilad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Ochrobactrum is a ubiquitous Gram-negative microorganism, mostly found in the environment, which can cause opportunistic infections in humans. It is almost uniformly resistant to penicillins and cephalosporins through an AmpC-like β-lactamase enzyme class (OCH). We studied 130 assembled genomes, of which 5 were animal-derived isolates recovered in Israel, and 125 publicly available genomes. Our analysis focused on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) genes, virulence genes, and whole-genome phylogeny. We found that 76% of Ochrobactrum genomes harbored a blaOCH β-lactamase gene variant, while 7% harbored another AmpC-like gene. No virulence genes other than lipopolysaccharide-associated genes were found. Core genome multilocus sequence typing clustered most samples to known species, but neither geographical clustering nor isolation source clustering were evident. When analyzing the distribution of different blaOCH variants as well as of the blaOCH-deficient samples, a clear phylogenomic clustering was apparent for specific species. The current analysis of the largest collection to date of Ochrobactrum genomes sheds light on the resistome, virulome, phylogeny, and species classification of this increasingly reported human pathogen. Our findings also suggest that Ochrobactrum deserves further characterization to underpin its evolution, taxonomy, and antimicrobial resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number177
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2020


  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Lactamase
  • Phylogeny
  • Veterinary
  • Whole-genome sequencing


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