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1.  Longitudinal Farm Study of Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamase-Mediated Resistance 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2006;44(5):1630-1634.
Extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-mediated resistance is of considerable importance in human medicine. Recently, such enzymes have been reported in bacteria from animals. We describe a longitudinal study of a dairy farm suffering calf scour with high mortality rates. In November 2004, two Escherichia coli isolates with resistance to a wide range of β-lactams (including amoxicillin-clavulanate and cefotaxime) were isolated from scouring calves. Testing by PCR and sequence analysis confirmed the isolates as being both blaCTX-M14/17 and blaTEM-35 (IRT-4) positive. They had indistinguishable plasmid and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) profiles. Transferability studies demonstrated that blaCTX-M was located on a conjugative 65-MDa IncK plasmid. Following a farm visit in December 2004, 31/48 calves and 2/60 cows were positive for E. coli with blaCTX-M. Also, 5/48 calf and 28/60 cow samples yielded blaCTX- and blaTEM-negative E. coli isolates that were resistant to cefotaxime, and sequence analysis confirmed that these presented mutations in the promoter region of the chromosomal ampC gene. Fingerprinting showed 11 different PFGE types (seven in blaCTX-M-positive isolates). Six different PFGE clones conjugated the same blaCTX-M-positive IncK plasmid. One clone carried a different-sized, blaCTX-M-positive, transformable plasmid. This is the first report of blaCTX-M from livestock in the United Kingdom, and this report demonstrates the complexity of ESBL epidemiology. Results indicate that horizontal plasmid transfer between strains as well as horizontal gene transfer between plasmids have contributed to the spread of resistance. We have also shown that some clones can persist for months, suggesting that clonal spread also contributes to the perpetuation of resistance.
PMCID: PMC1479190  PMID: 16672386
2.  Commensal Enterobacteriaceae as reservoirs of extended-spectrum beta-lactamases, integrons, and sul genes in Portugal 
Bacteria colonizing the human intestine have a relevant role in the spread of antimicrobial resistance. We investigated the faecal carriage of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Enterobacteriaceae in healthy humans from Portugal and analyzed the distribution of sul genes and class 1 and 2 integrons. Faecal samples (n = 113) were recovered from healthy persons (North/Centre of Portugal, 2001–2004) and plated on MacConkey agar with and without ceftazidime (1 mg/L) or cefotaxime (1 mg/L). Isolates representing different morphotypes/plate and antibiotic susceptibility patterns (n = 201) were selected. Isolates resistant to sulfonamides and/or streptomycin, gentamicin, and trimethoprim were screened (PCR and sequencing) for sul genes (sul1, sul2, sul3) and class 1 and 2 integrons. Presence of ESBLs was inferred using the double disk synergy test (DDST) and further confirmed by PCR and sequencing. ESBL producers were selected for clonal analysis, plasmid characterization and conjugation assays by standard methods. ESBL-producing isolates were found in 1.8% (2/113) of samples, corresponding to Escherichia coli of phylogroups A (n = 1) and B1 (n = 1) carrying transferable blaCTX-M-14 and the new blaTEM-153, respectively. A 80kb IncK plasmid bearing blaCTX-M-14 was found, being highly related to that widely spread among CTX-M-14 producers of humans and animals from Portugal and other European countries. sul genes were found in 88% (22/25; sul2-60%, sul1-48%, sul3-4%) of the sulfonamide resistant isolates. Class 1 integrons were more frequently found than class 2 (7%, 14/201 vs. 3%, 6/201). Interestingly, gene cassette arrangements within these platforms were identical to those commonly observed among Enterobacteriaceae from Portuguese food-producing animals, although aadA13 is here firstly described in Morganella morganii. These results reinforce the relevance of human commensal flora as reservoir of clinically relevant antibiotic resistance genes including blaESBLs, and highly transferable genetic platforms as IncK epidemic plasmids.
PMCID: PMC3619534  PMID: 23579192
ESBLs; CTX-M-14; TEM-153; class 1 and class 2 integrons; healthy volunteers
3.  The Sudden Dominance of blaCTX–M Harbouring Plasmids in Shigella spp. Circulating in Southern Vietnam 
Plasmid mediated antimicrobial resistance in the Enterobacteriaceae is a global problem. The rise of CTX-M class extended spectrum beta lactamases (ESBLs) has been well documented in industrialized countries. Vietnam is representative of a typical transitional middle income country where the spectrum of infectious diseases combined with the spread of drug resistance is shifting and bringing new healthcare challenges.
We collected hospital admission data from the pediatric population attending the hospital for tropical diseases in Ho Chi Minh City with Shigella infections. Organisms were cultured from all enrolled patients and subjected to antimicrobial susceptibility testing. Those that were ESBL positive were subjected to further investigation. These investigations included PCR amplification for common ESBL genes, plasmid investigation, conjugation, microarray hybridization and DNA sequencing of a blaCTX–M encoding plasmid.
Principal Findings
We show that two different blaCTX-M genes are circulating in this bacterial population in this location. Sequence of one of the ESBL plasmids shows that rather than the gene being integrated into a preexisting MDR plasmid, the blaCTX-M gene is located on relatively simple conjugative plasmid. The sequenced plasmid (pEG356) carried the blaCTX-M-24 gene on an ISEcp1 element and demonstrated considerable sequence homology with other IncFI plasmids.
The rapid dissemination, spread of antimicrobial resistance and changing population of Shigella spp. concurrent with economic growth are pertinent to many other countries undergoing similar development. Third generation cephalosporins are commonly used empiric antibiotics in Ho Chi Minh City. We recommend that these agents should not be considered for therapy of dysentery in this setting.
Author Summary
Shigellosis is a disease caused by bacteria belonging to Shigella spp. and is a leading cause of bacterial gastrointestinal infections in infants in unindustrialized countries. The Shigellae are dynamic and capable of rapid change when placed under selective pressure in a human population. Extended spectrum beta lactamases (ESBLs) are enzymes capable of degrading cephalosporins (a group of antimicrobial agents) and the genes that encode them are common in pathogenic E. coli and other related organisms in industrialized countries. In southern Vietnam, we have isolated multiple cephalosporin-resistant Shigella that express ESBLs. Furthermore, over two years these strains have replaced strains isolated from patients with shigellosis that cannot express ESBLs. Our work describes the genes responsible for this characteristic and we investigate one of the elements carrying one of these genes. These finding have implications for treatment of shigellosis and support the growing necessity for vaccine development. Our findings also may be pertinent for other countries undergoing a similar economic transition to Vietnam's and the corresponding effect on bacterial populations.
PMCID: PMC2882334  PMID: 20544028
4.  Characterization of Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamase Genes Found among Escherichia coli Isolates from Duck and Environmental Samples Obtained on a Duck Farm 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2012;78(10):3668-3673.
In this study, we focused on evaluating the occurrence of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli in fecal samples of healthy ducks and environmental samples from a duck farm in South China. Duck cloacal swabs and pond water samples were cultivated on MacConkey agar plates supplemented with ceftiofur. Individual colonies were examined for ESBL production. Bacteria identified as E. coli were screened for the presence of ESBL and plasmid-borne AmpC genes. The genetic relatedness, plasmid replicon type, and genetic background were determined. Of 245 samples analyzed, 123 had E. coli isolates with ceftiofur MICs higher than 8 μg/ml (116 [50.4%] from 230 duck samples and 7 [46.7%] from 15 water samples). blaCTX-M, blaSHV-12, blaCMY-2, and blaDHA-1 were identified in 108, 5, 9, and 1 isolates, respectively. The most common blaCTX-M genes were blaCTX-M-27 (n = 34), blaCTX-M-55 (n = 27), blaCTX-M-24e (n = 22), and blaCTX-M-105 (n = 20), followed by blaCTX-M-14a, blaCTX-M-14b, blaCTX-M-24a, and blaCTX-M-24b. Although most of the CTX-M producers had distinct pulsotypes, clonal transmission between duck and water isolates was observed. blaCTX-M genes were carried by transferable IncN, IncF, and untypeable plasmids. The novel CTX-M gene blaCTX-M-105 was flanked by two hypothetical protein sequences, partial ISEcp1 upstream and truncated IS903D, iroN, orf1, and a Tn1721-like element downstream. It is suggested that the horizontal transfer of blaCTX-M genes mediated by mobile elements and the clonal spread of CTX-M-producing E. coli isolates contributed to the dissemination of blaCTX-M in the duck farm. Our findings highlight the importance of ducks for the dissemination of transferable antibiotic resistance genes into the environment.
PMCID: PMC3346353  PMID: 22407683
5.  Dissemination of Cephalosporin Resistance Genes between Escherichia coli Strains from Farm Animals and Humans by Specific Plasmid Lineages 
PLoS Genetics  2014;10(12):e1004776.
Third-generation cephalosporins are a class of β-lactam antibiotics that are often used for the treatment of human infections caused by Gram-negative bacteria, especially Escherichia coli. Worryingly, the incidence of human infections caused by third-generation cephalosporin-resistant E. coli is increasing worldwide. Recent studies have suggested that these E. coli strains, and their antibiotic resistance genes, can spread from food-producing animals, via the food-chain, to humans. However, these studies used traditional typing methods, which may not have provided sufficient resolution to reliably assess the relatedness of these strains. We therefore used whole-genome sequencing (WGS) to study the relatedness of cephalosporin-resistant E. coli from humans, chicken meat, poultry and pigs. One strain collection included pairs of human and poultry-associated strains that had previously been considered to be identical based on Multi-Locus Sequence Typing, plasmid typing and antibiotic resistance gene sequencing. The second collection included isolates from farmers and their pigs. WGS analysis revealed considerable heterogeneity between human and poultry-associated isolates. The most closely related pairs of strains from both sources carried 1263 Single-Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) per Mbp core genome. In contrast, epidemiologically linked strains from humans and pigs differed by only 1.8 SNPs per Mbp core genome. WGS-based plasmid reconstructions revealed three distinct plasmid lineages (IncI1- and IncK-type) that carried cephalosporin resistance genes of the Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamase (ESBL)- and AmpC-types. The plasmid backbones within each lineage were virtually identical and were shared by genetically unrelated human and animal isolates. Plasmid reconstructions from short-read sequencing data were validated by long-read DNA sequencing for two strains. Our findings failed to demonstrate evidence for recent clonal transmission of cephalosporin-resistant E. coli strains from poultry to humans, as has been suggested based on traditional, low-resolution typing methods. Instead, our data suggest that cephalosporin resistance genes are mainly disseminated in animals and humans via distinct plasmids.
Author Summary
The rapid global rise of infections caused by Escherichia coli that are resistant to clinically relevant antimicrobials, including third-generation cephalosporins, is cause for concern. The intestinal tract of livestock, in particular poultry, is an important reservoir for drug resistant E. coli, but it is unknown to what extent these bacteria can spread to humans. Food is thought to be an important source because drug-resistant E. coli have been detected in animals raised for meat consumption and in meat products. Previous studies that used traditional, low-resolution, genetic typing methods found that drug resistant E. coli present in humans and poultry were indistinguishable from each other, suggesting dissemination of these bacteria through the food-chain to humans. However, by applying high-resolution, whole-genome sequencing methods, we did not find evidence for such transmission of bacteria through the food-chain. Instead, by employing a novel approach for the reconstruction of mobile genetic elements from whole-genome sequence data, we discovered that genetically unrelated E. coli isolates from both humans and animal sources carried nearly identical plasmids that encode third-generation cephalosporin resistance determinants. Our data suggest that cephalosporin resistance is mainly disseminated via the transfer of mobile genetic elements between animals and humans.
PMCID: PMC4270446  PMID: 25522320
6.  Dissemination and Characterization of Plasmids Carrying oqxAB-blaCTX-M Genes in Escherichia coli Isolates from Food-Producing Animals 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e73947.
The association of PMQR and ESBLs in negative-bacteria isolates has been of great concern. The present study was performed to investigate the prevalence of co-transferability of oqxAB and blaCTX-M genes among the 696 Escherichia coli (E. coli) isolates from food-producing animals in South China, and to characterize these plasmids.
The ESBL-encoding genes (blaCTX-M, blaTEM and blaSHV), and PMQR (qnrA, qnrB, qnrS, qnrC, qnrD, aac(6’)-Ib-cr, qepA, and oqxAB) of these 696 isolates were determined by PCR and sequenced directionally. Conjugation, S1 nuclease pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and Southern blotting experiments were performed to investigate the co-transferability and location of oqxAB and blaCTX-M. The EcoRI digestion profiles of the plasmids with oqxAB-blaCTX-M were also analyzed. The clonal relatedness was investigated by PFGE.
Of the 696 isolates, 429 harbored at least one PMQR gene, with oqxAB (328) being the most common type; 191 carried blaCTX-M, with blaCTX-M-14 the most common. We observed a significant higher prevalence of blaCTX-M among the oqxAB-positive isolates (38.7%) than that (17.4%) in the oqxAB-negative isolates. Co-transferability of oqxAB and blaCTX-M was found in 18 of the 127 isolates carrying oqxAB-blaCTX-M. These two genes were located on the same plasmid in all the 18 isolates, with floR being on these plasmids in 13 isolates. The co-dissemination of these genes was mainly mediated by F33:A-: B- and HI2 plasmids with highly similar EcoRI digestion profiles. Diverse PFGE patterns indicated the high prevalence of oqxAB was not caused by clonal dissemination.
blaCTX-M was highly prevalent among the oqxAB-positive isolates. The co-dissemination of oqxAB-blaCTX-M genes in E. coli isolates from food-producing animals is mediated mainly by similar F33:A-: B- and HI2 plasmids. This is the first report of the co-existence of oqxAB, blaCTX-M, and floR on the same plasmids in E. coli.
PMCID: PMC3767592  PMID: 24040123
7.  Spread of blaCTX-M-14 Is Driven Mainly by IncK Plasmids Disseminated among Escherichia coli Phylogroups A, B1, and D in Spain▿  
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2009;53(12):5204-5212.
Since its first description in 2000, CTX-M-14 has become one of the most widespread extended-spectrum β-lactamases in Spain. In the present Escherichia coli multilevel population genetic study involving the characterization of phylogroups, clones, plasmids, and genetic platforms, 61 isolates from 16 hospitalized patients and 40 outpatients and healthy volunteers recovered from 2000 to 2005 were analyzed. Clonal relatedness (XbaI pulsed-field gel electrophoresis [PFGE] type, phylogenetic group, multilocus sequence type [MLST]) was established by standard methods. Analysis of transferred plasmids (I-CeuI; S1 nuclease; restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis; and analysis of RNA interference, replicase, and relaxase) was performed by PCR, sequencing, and hybridization. The genetic environment of blaCTX-M-14 was characterized by PCR on the basis of known associated structures (ISEcp1, IS903, ISCR1). The isolates were mainly recovered from patients in the community (73.8%; 45/61) with urinary tract infections (62.2%; 28/45). They were clonally unrelated by PFGE and corresponded to phylogenetic groups A (36.1%), D (34.4%), and B1 (29.5%). MLST revealed a high degree of sequence type (ST) diversity among phylogroup D isolates and the overrepresentation of the ST10 complex among phylogroup A isolates and ST359/ST155 among phylogroup B1 isolates. Two variants of blaCTX-M-14 previously designated blaCTX-M-14a (n = 59/61) and blaCTX-M-14b (n = 2/61) were detected. blaCTX-M-14a was associated with either ISEcp1 within IncK plasmids (n = 27), ISCR1 linked to an IncHI2 plasmid (n = 1), or ISCR1 linked to IncI-like plasmids (n = 3). The blaCTX-M-14b identified was associated with an ISCR1 element located in an IncHI2 plasmid (n = 1) or with ISEcp1 located in IncK (n = 1). The CTX-M-14-producing E. coli isolates in our geographic area are frequent causes of community-acquired urinary tract infections. The increase in the incidence of such isolates is mostly due to the dissemination of IncK plasmids among E. coli isolates of phylogroups A, B1, and D.
PMCID: PMC2786348  PMID: 19786598
8.  Detection and Molecular Characterization of Escherichia coli CTX-M-15 and Klebsiella pneumoniae SHV-12 β-Lactamases from Bovine Mastitis Isolates in the United Kingdom 
Recent reports raised concerns about the role that farm stock may play in the dissemination of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing bacteria. This study characterized the ESBLs in two Escherichia coli and three Klebsiella pneumoniae subsp. pneumoniae isolates from cases of clinical bovine mastitis in the United Kingdom. Bacterial culture and sensitivity testing of bovine mastitic milk samples identified Gram-negative cefpodoxime-resistant isolates, which were assessed for their ESBL phenotypes. Conjugation experiments and PCR-based replicon typing (PBRT) were used for characterization of transferable plasmids. E. coli isolates belonged to sequence type 88 (ST88; determined by multilocus sequence typing) and carried blaCTX-M-15 and blaTEM-1, while K. pneumoniae subsp. pneumoniae isolates carried blaSHV-12 and blaTEM-1. Conjugation experiments demonstrated that blaCTX-M-15 and blaTEM-1 were carried on a conjugative plasmid in E. coli, and PBRT identified this to be an IncI1 plasmid. The resistance genes were nontransferable in K. pneumoniae subsp. pneumoniae isolates. Moreover, in the E. coli isolates, an association of ISEcp1 and IS26 with blaCTX-M-15 was found where the IS26 element was inserted upstream of both ISEcp1 and the blaCTX-M promoter, a genetic arrangement highly similar to that described in some United Kingdom human isolates. We report the first cases in Europe of bovine mastitis due to E. coli CTX-M-15 and also of bovine mastitis due to K. pneumoniae subsp. pneumoniae SHV-12 β-lactamases in the United Kingdom. We also describe the genetic environment of blaCTX-M-15 and highlight the role that IncI1 plasmids may play in the spread and dissemination of ESBL genes, which have been described in both human and cattle isolates.
PMCID: PMC3910873  PMID: 24247146
9.  Three Cefotaximases, CTX-M-9, CTX-M-13, and CTX-M-14, among Enterobacteriaceae in the People's Republic of China 
Of 15 extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing isolates of the family Enterobacteriaceae collected from the First Municipal People's Hospital of Guangzhou, in the southern part of the People's Republic of China, 9 were found to produce CTX-M ESBLs, 3 produced SHV-12, and 3 produced both CTX-M and SHV-12. Eleven isolates produced either TEM-1B or SHV-11, in addition to an ESBL. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the 12 isolates carrying blaCTX-M genes revealed that they harbored three different blaCTX-M genes, blaCTX-M-9 (5 isolates), blaCTX-M-13 (1 isolate), and blaCTX-M-14 (6 isolates). These genes have 98% nucleotide homology with blaToho-2. The blaCTX-M genes were carried on plasmids that ranged in size from 35 to 150 kb. Plasmid fingerprints and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis showed the dissemination of the blaCTX-M genes through transfer of different antibiotic resistance plasmids to different bacteria, suggesting that these resistance determinants are highly mobile. Insertion sequence ISEcp1, found on the upstream region of these genes, may be involved in the translocation of the blaCTX-M genes. This is the first report of the occurrence of SHV-12 and CTX-M ESBLs in China. The presence of strains with these ESBLs shows both the evolution of blaCTX-M genes and their dissemination among at least three species of the family Enterobacteriaceae, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Enterobacter cloacae, isolated within a single hospital. The predominance of CTX-M type enzymes seen in this area of China appears to be similar to that seen in South America but is different from those seen in Europe and North America, suggesting different evolutionary routes and selective pressures. A more comprehensive survey of the ESBL types from China is urgently needed.
PMCID: PMC127467  PMID: 11850241
10.  Molecular epidemiology of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli in Tunisia and characterization of their virulence factors and plasmid addiction systems 
BMC Microbiology  2013;13:147.
Extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs), particularly CTX-M- type ESBLs, are among the most important resistance determinants spreading worldwide in Enterobacteriaceae. The aim of this study was to characterize a collection of 163 ESBL-producing Escherichia coli collected in Tunisia, their ESBL-encoding plasmids and plasmid associated addiction systems.
The collection comprised 163 ESBL producers collected from two university hospitals of Sfax between 1989 and 2009. 118 isolates harbored blaCTX-M gene (101 blaCTX-M-15 gene and 17 blaCTX-M-14 gene). 49 isolates carried blaSHV-12 gene, 9 blaSHV-2a gene and only 3 blaTEM-26 gene. 16 isolates produced both CTX-M and SHV-12. The 101 CTX-M-15-producing isolates were significantly associated to phylogroup B2 and exhibiting a high number of virulence factors. 24 (23.7%) of the group B2 isolates belonged to clonal complex ST131. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) typing revealed a genetic diversity of the isolates. 144 ESBL determinants were transferable mostly by conjugation. The majority of plasmid carrying blaCTX-M-15 genes (72/88) were assigned to various single replicon or multireplicon IncF types and had significantly a higher frequency of addiction systems, notably the VagCD module.
This study demonstrates that the dissemination of CTX-M-15 producing E. coli in our setting was due to the spread of various IncF-type plasmids harboring multiple addiction systems, into related clones with high frequency of virulence determinants.
PMCID: PMC3701463  PMID: 23800277
E. coli; ESBL; CTX-M-15; Plasmid; Addiction systems; Virulence
11.  Molecular Epidemiological Analysis of Escherichia coli Sequence Type ST131 (O25:H4) and blaCTX-M-15 among Extended-Spectrum-β-Lactamase-Producing E. coli from the United States, 2000 to 2009 
Escherichia coli sequence type ST131 (from phylogenetic group B2), often carrying the extended-spectrum-β-lactamase (ESBL) gene blaCTX-M-15, is an emerging globally disseminated pathogen that has received comparatively little attention in the United States. Accordingly, a convenience sample of 351 ESBL-producing E. coli isolates from 15 U.S. centers (collected in 2000 to 2009) underwent PCR-based phylotyping and detection of ST131 and blaCTX-M-15. A total of 200 isolates, comprising 4 groups of 50 isolates each that were (i) blaCTX-M-15 negative non-ST131, (ii) blaCTX-M-15 positive non-ST131, (iii) blaCTX-M-15 negative ST131, or (iv) blaCTX-M-15 positive ST131, also underwent virulence genotyping, antimicrobial susceptibility testing, and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Overall, 201 (57%) isolates exhibited blaCTX-M-15, whereas 165 (47%) were ST131. ST131 accounted for 56% of blaCTX-M-15-positive- versus 35% of blaCTX-M-15-negative isolates (P < 0.001). Whereas ST131 accounted for 94% of the 175 total group B2 isolates, non-ST131 isolates were phylogenetically distributed by blaCTX-M-15 status, with groups A (blaCTX-M-15-positive isolates) and D (blaCTX-M-15-negative isolates) predominating. Both blaCTX-M-15 and ST131 occurred at all participating centers, were recovered from children and adults, increased significantly in prevalence post-2003, and were associated with molecularly inferred virulence. Compared with non-ST131 isolates, ST131 isolates had higher virulence scores, distinctive virulence profiles, and more-homogeneous PFGE profiles. blaCTX-M-15 was associated with extensive antimicrobial resistance and ST131 with fluoroquinolone resistance. Thus, E. coli ST131 and blaCTX-M-15 are emergent, widely distributed, and predominant among ESBL-positive E. coli strains in the United States, among children and adults alike. Enhanced virulence and antimicrobial resistance have likely promoted the epidemiological success of these emerging public health threats.
PMCID: PMC3346636  PMID: 22354301
12.  Molecular Characterization of Resistance to Extended-Spectrum Cephalosporins in Clinical Escherichia coli Isolates from Companion Animals in the United States ▿ † 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2011;55(12):5666-5675.
Resistance to extended-spectrum cephalosporins (ESC) among members of the family Enterobacteriaceae occurs worldwide; however, little is known about ESC resistance in Escherichia coli strains from companion animals. Clinical isolates of E. coli were collected from veterinary diagnostic laboratories throughout the United States from 2008 to 2009. E. coli isolates (n = 54) with reduced susceptibility to ceftazidime or cefotaxime (MIC ≥ 16 μg/ml) and extended-spectrum-β-lactamase (ESBL) phenotypes were analyzed. PCR and sequencing were used to detect mutations in ESBL-encoding genes and the regulatory region of the chromosomal gene ampC. Conjugation experiments and plasmid identification were conducted to examine the transferability of resistance to ESCs. All isolates carried the blaCTX-M-1-group β-lactamase genes in addition to one or more of the following β-lactamase genes: blaTEM, blaSHV-3, blaCMY-2, blaCTX-M-14-like, and blaOXA-1. Different blaTEM sequence variants were detected in some isolates (n = 40). Three isolates harbored a blaTEM-181 gene with a novel mutation resulting in an Ala184Val substitution. Approximately 78% of the isolates had mutations in promoter/attenuator regions of the chromosomal gene ampC, one of which was a novel insertion of adenine between bases −28 and −29. Plasmids ranging in size from 11 to 233 kbp were detected in the isolates, with a common plasmid size of 93 kbp identified in 60% of isolates. Plasmid-mediated transfer of β-lactamase genes increased the MICs (≥16-fold) of ESCs for transconjugants. Replicon typing among isolates revealed the predominance of IncI and IncFIA plasmids, followed by IncFIB plasmids. This study shows the emergence of conjugative plasmid-borne ESBLs among E. coli strains from companion animals in the United States, which may compromise the effective therapeutic use of ESCs in veterinary medicine.
PMCID: PMC3232758  PMID: 21947397
13.  Molecular Characterization of Extended-Spectrum-β-Lactamase-Producing and Plasmid-Mediated AmpC β-Lactamase-Producing Escherichia coli Isolated from Stray Dogs in South Korea 
A total of 47 extended-spectrum-cephalosporin-resistant Escherichia coli strains isolated from stray dogs in 2006 and 2007 in the Republic of Korea were investigated using molecular methods. Extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) and AmpC β-lactamase phenotypes were identified in 12 and 23 E. coli isolates, respectively. All 12 ESBL-producing isolates carried blaCTX-M genes. The most common CTX-M types were CTX-M-14 (n = 5) and CTX-M-24 (n = 3). Isolates producing CTX-M-3, CTX-M-55, CTX-M-27, and CTX-M-65 were also identified. Twenty-one of 23 AmpC β-lactamase-producing isolates were found to carry blaCMY-2 genes. TEM-1 was associated with CTX-M and CMY-2 β-lactamases in 4 and 15 isolates, respectively. In addition to blaTEM-1, two isolates carried blaDHA-1, and one of them cocarried blaCMY-2. Both CTX-M and CMY-2 genes were located on large (40 to 170 kb) conjugative plasmids that contained the insertion sequence ISEcp1 upstream of the bla genes. Only in the case of CTX-M genes was there an IS903 sequence downstream of the gene. The spread of ESBLs and AmpC β-lactamases occurred via both horizontal gene transfer, accounting for much of the CTX-M gene dissemination, and clonal spread, accounting for CMY-2 gene dissemination. The horizontal dissemination of blaCTX-M and blaCMY-2 genes was mediated by IncF and IncI1-Iγ plasmids, respectively. The clonal spread of blaCMY-2 was driven mainly by E. coli strains of virulent phylogroup D lineage ST648. To our knowledge, this is the first report of blaDHA-1 in E. coli strains isolated from companion animals. This study also represents the first report of CMY-2 β-lactamase-producing E. coli isolates from dogs in the Republic of Korea.
PMCID: PMC3346616  PMID: 22354297
14.  Epidemic Plasmid Carrying blaCTX-M-15 in Klebsiella penumoniae in China 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e52222.
To investigate the local epidemiology of Klebsiella penumoniae carrying blaCTX-M-15 in southern China and to characterize the genetic environment of blaCTX-M-15.
PCR and DNA sequencing were used to detect and characterize the genetic contexts of blaCTX-M-15. The clonal relatedness of isolates carrying blaCTX-M-15 was determined by pulse-field gel electrophoresis. Conjugative plasmids carrying blaCTX-M-15 were obtained by mating and were further subject to restriction analysis and replicon typing.
A total of 47CTX-M-15 ESBL-producing isolates of K. pneumoniae were collected from nine hospitals in China from October 2007 to October 2008. Isolates were clustered into various clonal groups. The local spread of blaCTX-M-15 was mainly mediated by one major conjugative plasmid as determined by S1-PFGE and restriction analysis. A 90-kb plasmid belonging to incompatible group FII was the major carrier of blaCTX-M-15 in K. pneumoniae. Except blaTEM-1, the resistance genes such as blaSHV, blaDHA-1, blaOXA-1, qnrB, qnrS, aac(3)-II, and aac(6′)-Ib were not found in the plasmid. In the comparing of conjugative gene sequence, it is 100% identical with the plasmid pKF3–94, which was found in K. pneumonia from Zhejiang province of china previously.
blaCTX-M-15 was prevalent in K. pneumonia of southern China. The dissemination of blaCTX-M-15 appeared to be due to the horizontal transfer of a 90-kb epidemic plasmid.
PMCID: PMC3558504  PMID: 23382815
15.  Extended-Spectrum-Beta-Lactamases, AmpC Beta-Lactamases and Plasmid Mediated Quinolone Resistance in Klebsiella spp. from Companion Animals in Italy 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e90564.
We report the genetic characterization of 15 Klebsiella pneumoniae (KP) and 4 isolates of K. oxytoca (KO) from clinical cases in dogs and cats and showing extended-spectrum cephalosporin (ESC) resistance. Extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) and AmpC genes, plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance (PMQR) and co-resistances were investigated. Among KP isolates, ST101 clone was predominant (8/15, 53%), followed by ST15 (4/15, 27%). ST11 and ST340, belonging to Clonal Complex (CC)11, were detected in 2012 (3/15, 20%). MLST on KP isolates corresponded well with PFGE results, with 11 different PFGE patterns observed, including two clusters of two (ST340) and four (ST101) indistinguishable isolates, respectively. All isolates harbored at least one ESBL or AmpC gene, all carried on transferable plasmids (IncR, IncFII, IncI1, IncN), and 16/19 were positive for PMQR genes (qnr family or aac(6′)-Ib-cr). The most frequent ESBL was CTX-M-15 (11/19, 58%), detected in all KP ST101, in one KP ST15 and in both KP ST340. blaCTX-M-15 was carried on IncR plasmids in all but one KP isolate. All KP ST15 isolates harbored different ESC resistance genes and different plasmids, and presented the non-transferable blaSHV-28 gene, in association with blaCTX-M-15, blaCTX-M-1 (on IncR, or on IncN), blaSHV-2a (on IncR) or blaCMY-2 genes (on IncI1). KO isolates were positive for blaCTX-M-9 gene (on IncHI2), or for the blaSHV-12 and blaDHA-1 genes (on IncL/M). They were all positive for qnr genes, and one also for the aac(6′)-Ib-cr gene. All Klebsiella isolates showed multiresistance towards aminoglycosides, sulfonamides, tetracyclines, trimethoprim and amphenicols, mediated by strA/B, aadA2, aadB, ant (2")-Ia, aac(6′)-Ib, sul, tet, dfr and cat genes in various combinations. The emergence in pets of multidrug-resistant Klebsiella with ESBL, AmpC and PMQR determinants, poses further and serious challenges in companion animal therapy and raise concerns for possible bi-directional transmission between pets and humans, especially at household level.
PMCID: PMC3942433  PMID: 24595207
16.  Molecular Characterization of CTX-M β-Lactamase and Associated Addiction Systems in Escherichia coli Circulating among Cattle, Farm Workers, and the Farm Environment 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2013;79(13):3898-3905.
A total of 84 extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli isolates from cattle, farm workers, and the farm environment isolated from February to September 2008 in the Republic of Korea were investigated. All 84 ESBL-producing isolates carried blaCTX-M genes that belonged to the CTX-M-1 (n = 35) or CTX-M-9 (n = 49) family. The most predominant CTX-M type identified was CTX-M-14 (n = 49), followed by CTX-M-32 (n = 26). The blaCTX-M genes were identified most commonly in E. coli isolates from feces (n = 29), teats (n = 25), and milk (n = 14). A blaCTX-M-14 gene was also detected in an E. coli isolate from a farmer's hand. Transfer of the blaCTX-M gene from 60 blaCTX-M-positive E. coli isolates to the recipient E. coli J53 strain by conjugation was demonstrated. Plasmid isolation from blaCTX-M-positive transconjugants revealed a large (95- to 140-kb) conjugative plasmid. Almost all (82/84) blaCTX-M genes possessed an insertion sequence, ISEcp1, upstream of the blaCTX-M gene. Only in the case of the CTX-M-14 genes was IS903 downstream of the gene. The blaCTX-M genes were associated with seven kinds of addiction systems. Among them, pndAC, hok-sok, and srnBC were the most frequently identified addiction systems in both wild strains and transconjugants. The spread of blaCTX-M genes was attributed to both clonal expansion and horizontal dissemination. Our data suggest that a combination of multiple addiction systems in plasmids carrying blaCTX-M genes could contribute to their maintenance in the host cells. To our knowledge, the blaCTX-M-32 gene has not previously been reported in animal isolates from the Republic of Korea.
PMCID: PMC3697548  PMID: 23584784
17.  Replicon typing of plasmids carrying blaCTX-M-1 in Enterobacteriaceae of animal, environmental and human origin 
Objectives: The aim of this work was to determine the plasmid replicon profiles of a collection of blaCTX-M-1-positive enterobacterial strains. The isolates originated from chicken in the production pyramid, healthy food-producing animals at slaughter (chicken, calves, and pigs), chicken retail meat, environmental isolates originating from water bodies, and isolates from humans. A selection of IncI and IncN plasmids were characterized by multilocus sequence typing in order to determine their epidemiological relatedness.
Methods: Transconjugants of 74 blaCTX-M-1-positive isolates were analyzed by PCR-based replicon typing and by PCR-based plasmid multilocus sequence typing.
Results: The incompatibility groups detected among the blaCTX-M-1-harboring plasmids included IncI1, IncN, IncHI1B, IncF, IncFIIS, IncFIB, and IncB/O, with plasmid lineage IncI1/ST3 predominating in isolates from chicken and from humans. Lineage IncN/ST1 was detected mainly in isolates from pigs. For the first time, blaCTX-M-1 genes encoded on IncHI1 plasmids were detected in isolates from cattle and from water bodies.
Conclusions: This study identifies plasmid lineages that are contributing to the dissemination of blaCTX-M-1 genes in the food chain, the environment, and humans.
PMCID: PMC4214192  PMID: 25400623
plasmids; incompatibility groups; blaCTX−M−1; dissemination; food chain; human
18.  Chromosome-Encoded AmpC and CTX-M Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamases in Clinical Isolates of Proteus mirabilis from Korea▿  
Among 222 Proteus mirabilis clinical isolates collected from 17 hospitals in Korea in 2008, 28 (12.6%) and 8 (3.6%) isolates exhibited extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) and AmpC phenotypes, respectively. The most common type of ESBL gene identified by PCR and sequencing experiments was blaCTX-M-14a (n = 12). The blaCTX-M-90 (n = 4), blaCTX-M-15 (n = 3), blaCTX-M-12 (n = 3), blaCTX-M-2 (n = 2), blaCTX-M-14b (n = 1), blaTEM-52 (n = 5), and blaSHV-12 (n = 1) genes were also detected. Eight isolates carried an AmpC β-lactamase gene, such as blaCMY-2 (n = 6) or blaDHA-1 (n = 2). All bla genes encoding CTX-M-1- and CTX-M-9-type enzymes and all blaCMY-2 genes were preceded by ISEcp1-like elements. The blaCTX-M-2 gene found in two isolates was located on a complex class 1 integron. The blaDHA-1 gene was preceded by a transcriptional regulator gene and was followed by phage shock protein genes. The blaCTX-M genes were located on the chromosome in 21 isolates. A plasmid location for the blaCTX-M gene was found in only four isolates: the blaCTX-M-14a gene was located on ∼150-kbp IncA/C plasmids in three isolates and on a ∼50-kbp IncN plasmid in one isolate. The blaTEM-52 gene was located on ∼50-kbp IncN plasmids in all five isolates. The AmpC β-lactamase genes were located on the chromosome in seven of eight isolates; one isolate carried the blaCMY-2 gene on a ∼150-kbp IncA/C plasmid. Our results show that a chromosomal location of CTX-M ESBL and AmpC β-lactamase genes in P. mirabilis is no longer an unusual phenomenon in hospital environments.
PMCID: PMC3067170  PMID: 21282448
19.  Using Nucleic Acid Microarrays To Perform Molecular Epidemiology and Detect Novel β-Lactamases: a Snapshot of Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamases throughout the World 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2012;50(5):1632-1639.
The worldwide dissemination of extended-spectrum-β-lactamase (ESBL)- and carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae is a major concern in both hospital and community settings. Rapid identification of these resistant pathogens and the genetic determinants they possess is needed to assist in clinical practice and epidemiological studies. A collection of Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Klebsiella oxytoca, and Proteus mirabilis isolates, including phenotypically ESBL-positive (n = 1,093) and ESBL-negative isolates (n = 59), obtained in 2008–2009 from a longitudinal surveillance study (SMART) was examined using an in vitro nucleic acid-based microarray. This approach was used to detect and identify blaESBL (blaSHV, blaTEM, and blaCTX-M genes of groups 1, 2, 9, and 8/25) and blaKPC genes and was combined with selective PCR amplification and DNA sequencing for complete characterization of the blaESBL and blaKPC genes. Of the 1,093 phenotypically ESBL-positive isolates, 1,041 were identified as possessing at least one blaESBL gene (95.2% concordance), and 59 phenotypically ESBL-negative isolates, used as negative controls, were negative. Several ESBL variants of blaTEM (n = 5), blaSHV (n = 11), blaCTX-M (n = 19), and blaKPC (n = 3) were detected. A new blaSHV variant, blaSHV-129, and a new blaKPC variant, blaKPC-11, were also identified. The most common bla genes found in this study were blaCTX-M-15, blaCTX-M-14, and blaSHV-12. Using nucleic acid microarrays, we obtained a “molecular snapshot” of blaESBL genes in a current global population; we report that CTX-M-15 is still the dominant ESBL and provide the first report of the new β-lactamase variants blaSHV-129 and blaKPC-11.
PMCID: PMC3347121  PMID: 22322349
20.  Increase in Resistance to Extended-Spectrum Cephalosporins in Salmonella Isolated from Retail Chicken Products in Japan 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(2):e0116927.
Extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Salmonella are one of the most important public health problems in developed countries. ESBL-producing Salmonella strains have been isolated from humans in Asian countries neighboring Japan, along with strains harboring the plasmid-mediated extended-spectrum cephalosporin (ESC)-resistance gene, ampC (pAmpC). However, only a few studies have investigated the prevalence of ESC-resistant Salmonella in chicken products in Japan, which are the main vehicle of Salmonella transmission. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of ESBL-producing, pAmpC-harboring, or carbapenem-resistant Salmonella in chicken products in Japan. In total, 355 out of 779 (45.6%) chicken product samples collected from 1996–2010 contained Salmonella, resulting in 378 distinct isolates. Of these isolates, 373 were tested for resistance to ESCs, cephamycins, or carbapenems. Isolates that showed resistance to one or more of these antimicrobials were then examined by PCR and DNA sequence analysis for the presence of the blaCMY, blaCTX-M, blaTEM, and blaSHV resistance genes. Thirty-five resistant isolates were detected, including 26 isolates that contained pAmpC (blaCMY-2), and nine ESBL-producing isolates harboring blaCTX-M (n = 4, consisting of two blaCTX-M-2 and two blaCTX-M-15 genes), blaTEM (n = 4, consisting of one blaTEM-20 and three blaTEM-52 genes), and blaSHV (n = 1, blaSHV-12). All pAmpC-harboring and ESBL-producing Salmonella isolates were obtained from samples collected after 2005, and the percentage of resistant isolates increased significantly from 0% in 2004 to 27.9% in 2010 (P for trend = 0.006). This increase was caused in part by an increase in the number of Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Infantis strains harboring an approximately 280-kb plasmid containing blaCMY-2 in proximity to ISEcp1. The dissemination of ESC-resistant Salmonella containing plasmid-mediated blaCMY-2 in chicken products indicates the need for the development of continuous monitoring strategies in the interests of public health.
PMCID: PMC4314076  PMID: 25642944
21.  Characterization of the genetic environment of blaESBL genes, integrons and toxin-antitoxin systems identified on large transferrable plasmids in multi-drug resistant Escherichia coli 
Objectives: Previously 14 conjugative plasmids from multi-drug resistant (MDR) Escherichia coli from healthy humans and food-producing animals in Switzerland were sequenced. The aim of this study was to extend the genetic characterization of these plasmids with a focus on blaESBL genes including blaCTX-M-1 and blaTEM, class 1 integrons and toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems contained therein.
Methods: The nucleotide sequences and subsequent annotation therein of 14 conjugative plasmids were previously determined from their corresponding transconjugants. The TA loci were confirmed by RASTA-Bacteria.
Results: Eight of the conjugative plasmids identified were found to encode genes expressing ESBLs. Structural heterogeneity was noted in the regions flanking both the blaCTX-M-1 and blaTEM genes. The blaCTX-M-1 genes were associated with the common insertion sequences ISEcp1 and IS26, and uniquely with an IS5 element in one case; while blaTEM genes were found to be associated with IS26 and Tn2. A new blaTEM-210 gene was identified. Seven class 1 integrons were also identified and assigned into 3 groups, denoted as In54, In369 and In501. Sixteen TA loci belonging to 4 of the TA gene families (relBE, vapBC, ccd and mazEF) were identified on 11 of these plasmids.
Conclusions: Comparative sequence analysis of these plasmids provided data on the structures likely to contribute to sequence diversity associated with these accessory genes, including IS26, ISEcp1 and Tn2. All of them contribute to the dissemination of the corresponding resistance genes located on the different plasmids. There appears to be no association between β-lactam encoding genes and TA systems.
PMCID: PMC4285173  PMID: 25610429
bla genes; plasmid sequencing; CTX-M; TEM; accessory genes
22.  IncH-Type Plasmid Harboring blaCTX-M-15, blaDHA-1, and qnrB4 Genes Recovered from Animal Isolates 
The whole sequence of plasmid pENVA carrying the extended-spectrum β-lactamase gene blaCTX-M-15 was determined. It was identified from a series of clonally related Klebsiella pneumoniae sequence type 274 strains recovered from companion animals. This plasmid was 253,984 bp in size and harbored, in addition to blaCTX-M-15, a large array of genes encoding resistance to many antibiotic molecules, including β-lactams (blaTEM-1, blaDHA-1), aminoglycosides (aacA2, aadA1), tetracycline (tetA), quinolones (qnrB4), trimethoprim (dfrA15), and sulfonamides (two copies of sul1). In addition, genes encoding resistance to mercury, tellurium, nickel, and quaternary compounds were identified. It also carried genes encoding DNA damage protection and mutagenesis repair and a locus for a CRISPR system, which corresponds to an immune system involved in protection against bacteriophages and plasmids. Comparative analysis of the plasmid scaffold showed that it possessed a structure similar to that of only a single plasmid, which was pNDM-MAR encoding the carbapenemase NDM-1 and identified from human K. pneumoniae isolates. Both plasmids possessed two replicons, namely, those of IncFIB-like and IncHIB-like plasmids, which were significantly different from those previously characterized. The blaCTX-M-15 gene, together with the other antibiotic resistance genes, was part of a large module likely acquired through a transposition process. We characterized here a new plasmid type carrying the blaCTX-M-15 gene identified in a K. pneumoniae isolate of animal origin. The extent to which this plasmid type may spread efficiently and possibly further enhance the dissemination of blaCTX-M-15 among animal and human isolates remains to be determined.
PMCID: PMC4068538  PMID: 24752252
23.  Complete Nucleotide Sequence of CTX-M-15-Plasmids from Clinical Escherichia coli Isolates: Insertional Events of Transposons and Insertion Sequences 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(6):e11202.
CTX-M-producing Escherichia coli strains are regarded as major global pathogens.
Methodology/Principal Findings
The nucleotide sequence of three plasmids (pEC_B24: 73801-bp; pEC_L8: 118525-bp and pEC_L46: 144871-bp) from Escherichia coli isolates obtained from patients with urinary tract infections and one plasmid (pEC_Bactec: 92970-bp) from an Escherichia coli strain isolated from the joint of a horse with arthritis were determined. Plasmid pEC_Bactec belongs to the IncI1 group and carries two resistance genes: blaTEM-1 and blaCTX-M-15. It shares more than 90% homology with a previously published blaCTX-M-plasmid from E. coli of human origin. Plasmid pEC_B24 belongs to the IncFII group whereas plasmids pEC_L8 and pEC_L46 represent a fusion of two replicons of type FII and FIA. On the pEC_B24 backbone, two resistance genes, blaTEM-1 and blaCTX-M-15, were found. Six resistance genes, blaTEM-1, blaCTX-M-15, blaOXA-1, aac6'-lb-cr, tetA and catB4, were detected on the pEC_L8 backbone. The same antimicrobial drug resistance genes, with the exception of tetA, were also identified on the pEC_L46 backbone. Genome analysis of all 4 plasmids studied provides evidence of a seemingly frequent transposition event of the blaCTX-M-15-ISEcp1 element. This element seems to have a preferred insertion site at the tnpA gene of a blaTEM-carrying Tn3-like transposon, the latter itself being inserted by a transposition event. The IS26-composite transposon, which contains the blaOXA-1, aac6'-lb-cr and catB4 genes, was inserted into plasmids pEC_L8 and pEC_L46 by homologous recombination rather than a transposition event. Results obtained for pEC_L46 indicated that IS26 also plays an important role in structural rearrangements of the plasmid backbone and seems to facilitate the mobilisation of fragments from other plasmids.
Collectively, these data suggests that IS26 together with ISEcp1 could play a critical role in the evolution of diverse multiresistant plasmids found in clinical Enterobacteriaceae.
PMCID: PMC2887853  PMID: 20585456
24.  Molecular identification of CTX-M and blaOXY/K1 β-lactamase genes in Enterobacteriaceae by sequencing of universal M13-sequence tagged PCR-amplicons 
Plasmid encoded blaCTX-M enzymes represent an important sub-group of class A β-lactamases causing the ESBL phenotype which is increasingly found in Enterobacteriaceae including Klebsiella spp. Molecular typing of clinical ESBL-isolates has become more and more important for prevention of the dissemination of ESBL-producers among nosocomial environment.
Multiple displacement amplified DNA derived from 20 K. pneumoniae and 34 K. oxytoca clinical isolates with an ESBL-phenotype was used in a universal CTX-M PCR amplification assay. Identification and differentiation of blaCTX-M and blaOXY/K1 sequences was obtained by DNA sequencing of M13-sequence-tagged CTX-M PCR-amplicons using a M13-specific sequencing primer.
Nine out of 20 K. pneumoniae clinical isolates had a blaCTX-M genotype. Interestingly, we found that the universal degenerated primers also amplified the chromosomally located K1-gene in all 34 K. oxytoca clinical isolates. Molecular identification and differentiation between blaCTX-M and blaOXY/K1-genes could only been achieved by sequencing of the PCR-amplicons. In silico analysis revealed that the universal degenerated CTX-M primer-pair used here might also amplify the chromosomally located blaOXY and K1-genes in Klebsiella spp. and K1-like genes in other Enterobacteriaceae.
The PCR-based molecular typing method described here enables a rapid and reliable molecular identification of blaCTX-M, and blaOXY/K1-genes. The principles used in this study could also be applied to any situation in which antimicrobial resistance genes would need to be sequenced.
PMCID: PMC2651175  PMID: 19161622
25.  Neonatal septicaemia caused by diverse clones of Klebsiella pneumoniae & Escherichia coli harbouring blaCTX-M-15 
Background & objectives:
Information about the genetic diversity of the extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs) and the clonal relationship of the organisms causing neonatal infections is limited, particularly from India where neonatal mortality is high. This study was undertaken to investigate the molecular epidemiology and risk factors associated with neonatal septicaemia caused by ESBL-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli.
Bloodstream isolates (n=26) of K. pneumoniae (n=10) and E. coli (n=16) from the neonates admitted in a tertiary care hospital in New Delhi during January to May 2008 were characterized. Antimicrobial susceptibility tests were carried out and ESBL production was assessed phenotypically. PCR was carried out for ESBL and ampC genes. Genotyping was performed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Conjugation experiments were done to determine the mobility of ESBL genes. Risk factors associated with ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae and E. coli infections were analysed.
Resistance rates to most of the antibiotics tested were high, except for imipenem. Among the isolates tested, 60 per cent of K. pneumoniae and 75 per cent of E. coli were ESBL producers. PFGE of the isolates demonstrated a vast diversity of genotypes with no epidemic clones. Despite the clonal diversity, blaCTX-M-15 was detected in 100 per cent of ESBL-positive isolates. The other genes present in ESBL-positive isolates were blaTEM-1, blaSHV-1, blaSHV-28, blaSHV-11, and blaSHV-12. Class 1 integrons were detected in 7 of 18 ESBL-positive isolates. Moreover, the plasmid carrying blaCTX-M-15, in E. coli and K. pneumoniae were self transferable. Feeding through an enteral tube was identified as the only risk factor for sepsis by ESBL-producing organisms.
Interpretation & conclusions:
The study emphasises the presence of blaCTX-M-15 in clonally diverse isolates indicating probable horizontal transfer of this gene. The widespread dissemination of CTX-M-15 is of great concern as it further confines the limited therapeutic interventions available for neonates.
PMCID: PMC3724262  PMID: 23703349
CTX-M-15; diverse clones; ESBLs; Escherichia coli; Klebsiella pneumoniae; neonatal sepsis; risk factor

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