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1.  Carbapenemases: the Versatile β-Lactamases 
Clinical Microbiology Reviews  2007;20(3):440-458.
Carbapenemases are β-lactamases with versatile hydrolytic capacities. They have the ability to hydrolyze penicillins, cephalosporins, monobactams, and carbapenems. Bacteria producing these β-lactamases may cause serious infections in which the carbapenemase activity renders many β-lactams ineffective. Carbapenemases are members of the molecular class A, B, and D β-lactamases. Class A and D enzymes have a serine-based hydrolytic mechanism, while class B enzymes are metallo-β-lactamases that contain zinc in the active site. The class A carbapenemase group includes members of the SME, IMI, NMC, GES, and KPC families. Of these, the KPC carbapenemases are the most prevalent, found mostly on plasmids in Klebsiella pneumoniae. The class D carbapenemases consist of OXA-type β-lactamases frequently detected in Acinetobacter baumannii. The metallo-β-lactamases belong to the IMP, VIM, SPM, GIM, and SIM families and have been detected primarily in Pseudomonas aeruginosa; however, there are increasing numbers of reports worldwide of this group of β-lactamases in the Enterobacteriaceae. This review updates the characteristics, epidemiology, and detection of the carbapenemases found in pathogenic bacteria.
PMCID: PMC1932750  PMID: 17630334
2.  Laboratory Detection of Enterobacteriaceae That Produce Carbapenemases 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2012;50(12):3877-3880.
A study was designed to evaluate the modified Hodge test (MHT), Mastdiscs ID inhibitor combination disks (MDI), Rosco Diagnostica Neo-Sensitabs (RDS), metallo-β-lactamase (MBL) Etest, and in-house multiplex PCR for the detection of well-characterized carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae. One hundred forty-two nonrepeat clinical isolates of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (including Klebsiella spp., Escherichia coli, Citrobacter freundii, and Enterobacter spp.) obtained from the SMART worldwide surveillance program during 2008 to 2009 were included. These included 49 KPC-, 27 NDM-, 19 VIM-, 14 OXA-48-like enzyme-, and 5 IMP-producing isolates and 28 carbapenem-resistant, carbapenemase-negative isolates. The manufacturer's instructions were followed for MDI, RDS, and MBL Etest and CLSI guidelines for MHT. A multiplex PCR was designed to detect KPC, NDM, VIM, IMP, and OXA-48-like carbapenemases. Overall, the sensitivity and specificity were 78% and 93% for MDI, 80% and 93% for RDS, 58% and 93% for MHT, and 55% and 100% for MBL Etest, respectively. The PCR had 100% sensitivity and specificity. MDI and RDS performed well for the detection of KPCs and NDMs but poorly for VIMs, IMPs, and OXA-48-like enzymes. MHT performed well for KPCs and OXA-48-like enzymes but poorly for NDMs, VIMs, and IMPs. MDI and RDS were easy to perform and interpret but lacked sensitivity for OXA-48-like enzymes, VIMs, and IMPs. MHT and MBL Etest were often difficult to interpret. We recommend using molecular tests for the optimal detection of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae.
PMCID: PMC3503014  PMID: 22993175
3.  OXA-181 Beta Lactamase is not a Major Mediator of Carbapenem Resistance in Enterobacteriaceae 
Background: Detection of carbapenem hydrolyzing class D beta lactamase OXA-181, (a variant of OXA-48) in Enterobacteriaceae, is important, to institute appropriate therapy and to initiate preventive measures. This study was done to determine the presence of OXA 48 and its derivative OXA-181 in Enterobacteriaceae of pathogenic significance.
Material and Methods: One hundred and eleven non–repetitive Enterobacteriaceae isolates which were resistant to any of the cephalosporin subclasses III and which exhibited reduced susceptibility to carbapenems were included in the study. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) to imipenem and meropenem was determined by broth microdilution. Production of carbapenamase was screened by Modified Hodge test (MHT). Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) was done to detect the presence of bla OXA-181 and bla OXA-48 .Coexistence of other carbapenemase encoding genes, namely, NDM-1, VIM, IMP and KPC were also looked for, by PCR.
Results: Of all the isolates which were tested, only 2 (1.8%) revealed the presence of OXA-181 and OXA-48. These were Klebsiella pneumoniae and Citrobacter freundii. MICs of imipenem and meropenem for Klebsiella pneumoniae were 128mg/l and 64 mg/l and for Citrobacter freundii, they were 32mg/l and 16mg/l respectively. MHT was positive in both isolates.
Conclusion: Production of OXA-48 / OXA-181 is not a major mechanism of carbapenem resistance. PCR is the gold standard for its routine identification in clinical microbiology laboratory.
PMCID: PMC3809655  PMID: 24179916
Enterobacteriaceae; OXA-181 carbapenemase; Polymerase chain reaction
4.  Rapid Molecular Characterization of Acinetobacter baumannii Clones with rep-PCR and Evaluation of Carbapenemase Genes by New Multiplex PCR in Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e85854.
Multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (MDRAB) is an increasing problem worldwide. Prevalence of carbapenem resistance in Acinetobacter spp. due to acquired carbapenemase genes is not known in Finland. The purpose of this study was to examine prevalence and clonal spread of multiresistant A. baumannii group species, and their carbapenemase genes. A total of 55 Acinetobacter isolates were evaluated with repetitive PCR (DiversiLab) to analyse clonality of isolates, in conjunction with antimicrobial susceptibility profile for ampicillin/sulbactam, colistin, imipenem, meropenem, rifampicin and tigecycline. In addition, a new real-time PCR assay, detecting most clinically important carbapenemase genes just in two multiplex reactions, was developed. The assay detects genes for KPC, VIM, IMP, GES-1/-10, OXA-48, NDM, GIM-1, SPM-1, IMI/NMC-A, SME, CMY-10, SFC-1, SIM-1, OXA-23-like, OXA-24/40-like, OXA-58 and ISAbaI-OXA-51-like junction, and allows confident detection of isolates harbouring acquired carbapenemase genes. There was a time-dependent, clonal spread of multiresistant A. baumannii strongly correlating with carbapenamase gene profile, at least in this geographically restricted study material. The new carbapenemase screening assay was able to detect all the genes correctly suggesting it might be suitable for epidemiologic screening purposes in clinical laboratories.
PMCID: PMC3897539  PMID: 24465749
5.  First report of Klebsiella pneumonia carbapenemase-producing Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolated from burn patients in Iran: phenotypic and genotypic methods 
Wound infection associated with carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa in burn patients is a growing problem. One of the main mechanisms of resistance to carbapenem antibiotics is the ability of P. aeruginosa to produce carbapenemase enzymes. Klebsiella pneumonia carbapemenase (KPC) is an important type of carbapenemase which can hydrolyze carbapenem antibiotics. The Modified Hodge Test (MHT) and boronic acid as a KPC inhibitor are two phenotypic methods used for detection of carbapenemase. The sensitivity and specificity of these two phenotypic tests for the identification of KPC can be measured by PCR.
In this study, 241 P. aeruginosa strains were isolated from wounds of hospitalized burn patients. Carbapenem-resistant P. aeruginosa isolates were determined by the disk diffusion method. KPC-producing carbapenem-resistant strains were examined using the Modified Hodge Test, followed by boronic acid. Further, strains with positive responses to MHT and boronic acid tests were analyzed with the PCR molecular method. One hundred eighty-six of 241 isolates were resistant to carbapenems and 75 were positive in the MHT. Three exhibited an at least 5-mm diameter difference when meropenem was combined with boronic acid vs meropenem alone in the boronic acid test. Two strains had a specific band with primer No.1 after gel electrophoresis.
This study showed that MHT, despite excellent sensitivity, has variable specificity independent of bacterial species. Further, the use of KPC inhibitors such as boronic acid did not yield favorable sensitivity and specificity among the specimens from Iranian patients. Thus, it seems that sequencing after PCR should be considered the gold standard for the detection of KPC-producing P. aeruginosa.
PMCID: PMC3960934  PMID: 24653970
P. aeruginosa; KPC; boronic acid; Modified Hodge Test; blaKPC
6.  blaKPC gene Detection in Clinical Isolates of Carbapenem Resistant Enterobacteriaceae in a Tertiary Care Hospital 
Introduction: Carbapenem resistance among Enterobacteriaceae, especially in Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli, is an emerging problem worldwide. A common mechanism of carbapenem resistance is the production of class-A, Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC).
Aims and Objectives: The present study focused on determining the antibiotic resistance pattern and prevalence of bla KPC gene coding for KPC in carbapenem resistant Enterobacteriaceae.
Methodology: Forty six carbapenem resistant isolates belonging to the family Enterobacteriaceae were tested for antibiotic sensitivity pattern. Modified Hodge Test (MHT) and PCR for bla KPC gene detection were performed on these isolates. Of these, 22 were Klebsiella pneumoniae, 21 were Escherichia coli, 2 were Citrobacter species and 1 was Proteus mirabilis
Results: Forty three (93.4%) out of the 46 isolates were resistant to Meropenem, 34 (73.9%) were resistant to Imipenem and 30 (65.2%) were resistant to both Imipenem and Meropenem. Modified Hodge Test was positive in 38 (82.6%) out of 46 isolates and blaKPC gene was detected in 31 (67.4%) isolates. bla KPC gene was detected in 28 out of the 38 MHT positive isolates.
PMCID: PMC3919306  PMID: 24551626
Enterbacteriaceae; Carbapenem resistance; Modified Hodge Test; blaKPC gene
7.  Sensitive Screening Tests for Suspected Class A Carbapenemase Production in Species of Enterobacteriaceae▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2009;47(6):1631-1639.
The detection of class A serine-carbapenemases among species of Enterobacteriaceae remains a challenging issue. Methods of identification for routine use in clinical microbiology laboratories have not been standardized to date. We developed a novel screening methodology suitable for countries with high basal levels of carbapenem resistance due to non-carbapenemase-mediated mechanisms and standardized several simple confirmatory methods that allow the recognition of bacteria producing class A carbapenemases, including KPC, Sme, IMI, NMC-A, and GES, by using boronic acid (BA) derivatives. A total of 28 genetically unrelated Enterobacteriaceae strains producing several class A carbapenemases were tested. Thirty-eight genetically unrelated negative controls were included. The isolates were tested against imipenem (IPM), meropenem (MEM), and ertapenem (ETP) by MIC and disk diffusion assays in order to select appropriate tools to screen for suspected carbapenemase production. It was possible to differentiate class A carbapenemase-producing bacteria from non-carbapenemase-producing bacteria by using solely the routine IPM susceptibility tests. The modified Hodge test was evaluated and found to be highly sensitive, although false-positive results were documented. Novel BA-based methods (a double-disk synergy test and combined-disk and MIC tests) using IPM, MEM, and ETP, in combination with 3-aminophenylboronic acid as an inhibitor, were designed as confirmatory tools. On the basis of the performance of these methods, a sensitive flow chart for suspicion and confirmation of class A carbapenemase production in species of Enterobacteriaceae was designed. By using this methodology, isolates producing KPC, GES, Sme, IMI, and NMC-A carbapenemases were successfully distinguished from those producing other classes of β-lactamases (extended-spectrum β-lactamases, AmpCs, and metallo-β-lactamases, etc). These methods will rapidly provide useful information needed for targeting antimicrobial therapy and appropriate infection control.
PMCID: PMC2691115  PMID: 19386850
8.  Rapid Detection and Statistical Differentiation of KPC Gene Variants in Gram-Negative Pathogens by Use of High-Resolution Melting and ScreenClust Analyses 
In the United States, the production of the Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) is an important mechanism of carbapenem resistance in Gram-negative pathogens. Infections with KPC-producing organisms are associated with increased morbidity and mortality; therefore, the rapid detection of KPC-producing pathogens is critical in patient care and infection control. We developed a real-time PCR assay complemented with traditional high-resolution melting (HRM) analysis, as well as statistically based genotyping, using the Rotor-Gene ScreenClust HRM software to both detect the presence of blaKPC and differentiate between KPC-2-like and KPC-3-like alleles. A total of 166 clinical isolates of Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Acinetobacter baumannii with various β-lactamase susceptibility patterns were tested in the validation of this assay; 66 of these organisms were known to produce the KPC β-lactamase. The real-time PCR assay was able to detect the presence of blaKPC in all 66 of these clinical isolates (100% sensitivity and specificity). HRM analysis demonstrated that 26 had KPC-2-like melting peak temperatures, while 40 had KPC-3-like melting peak temperatures. Sequencing of 21 amplified products confirmed the melting peak results, with 9 isolates carrying blaKPC-2 and 12 isolates carrying blaKPC-3. This PCR/HRM assay can identify KPC-producing Gram-negative pathogens in as little as 3 h after isolation of pure colonies and does not require post-PCR sample manipulation for HRM analysis, and ScreenClust analysis easily distinguishes blaKPC-2-like and blaKPC-3-like alleles. Therefore, this assay is a rapid method to identify the presence of blaKPC enzymes in Gram-negative pathogens that can be easily integrated into busy clinical microbiology laboratories.
PMCID: PMC3536237  PMID: 23077125
9.  A rapid low-cost real-time PCR for the detection of klebsiella pneumonia carbapenemase genes 
Klebsiella pneumonia carbapenemases (KPCs) are able to hydrolyze the carbapenems, which cause many bacteria resistance to multiple classes of antibiotics, so the rapid dissemination of KPCs is worrisome. Laboratory identification of KPCs-harboring clinical isolates would be a key to limit the spread of the bacteria. This study would evaluate a rapid low-cost real-time PCR assay to detect KPCs.
Real-time PCR assay based on SYBR GreenIwas designed to amplify a 106bp product of the blaKPC gene from the159 clinical Gram-negative isolates resistant to several classes of -lactam antibiotics through antimicrobial susceptibility testing. We confirmed the results of real-time PCR assay by the conventional PCR-sequencing. At the same time, KPCs of these clinical isolates were detected by the modified Hodge test (MHT). Then we compared the results of real-time PCR assay with those of MHT from the sensitivity and specificity. Moreover, we evaluated the sensitivity of the real-time PCR assay.
The sensitivity and specificity of the results of the real-time PCR assay compared with those of MHT was 29/29(100%) and 130/130(100%), respectively. The results of the real-time PCR and the MHT were strongly consistent (Exact Sig. (2-tailed) =1. 000; McNemar test). The real-time PCR detection limit was about 0.8cfu using clinical isolates.
The real-time PCR assay could rapidly and accurately detect KPCs -harboring strains with high analytical sensitivity and specificity.
PMCID: PMC3377543  PMID: 22545713
Real-time polymerase chain reaction; Klebsiella pneumonia carbapenemase
10.  Carbapenemase Genes among Multidrug Resistant Gram Negative Clinical Isolates from a Tertiary Hospital in Mwanza, Tanzania 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:303104.
The burden of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is rapidly growing across antibiotic classes, with increased detection of isolates resistant to carbapenems. Data on the prevalence of carbapenem resistance in developing countries is limited; therefore, in this study, we determined the prevalence of carbapenemase genes among multidrug resistant gram negative bacteria (MDR-GNB) isolated from clinical specimens in a tertiary hospital in Mwanza, Tanzania. A total of 227 MDR-GNB isolates were analyzed for carbapenem resistance genes. For each isolate, five different PCR assays were performed, allowing for the detection of the major carbapenemase genes, including those encoding the VIM-, IMP-, and NDM-type metallo-beta-lactamases, the class A KPC-type carbapenemases, and the class D OXA-48 enzyme. Of 227 isolates, 80 (35%) were positive for one or more carbapenemase gene. IMP-types were the most predominant gene followed by VIM, in 49 (21.59%) and 28 (12%) isolates, respectively. Carbapenemase genes were most detected in K. pneumoniae 24 (11%), followed by P. aeruginosa 23 (10%), and E. coli with 19 isolates (8%). We have demonstrated for the first time a high prevalence of MDR-GNB clinical isolates having carbapenem resistance genes in Tanzania. We recommend routine testing for carbapenem resistance among the MDR-GNB particularly in systemic infections.
PMCID: PMC3953670
11.  Antimicrobial Activities of Tigecycline and Other Broad-Spectrum Antimicrobials Tested against Serine Carbapenemase- and Metallo-β-Lactamase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae: Report from the SENTRY Antimicrobial Surveillance Program▿  
A total of 104 carbapenemase (serine- and metallo-β-lactamase [MβL])-producing strains of the Enterobacteriaceae family collected from 2000 to 2005 in medical centers distributed worldwide were tested against tigecycline and 25 comparators by reference broth microdilution methods. The most frequent carbapenemase was KPC-2 or -3 (73 strains), followed by VIM-1 (14), IMP-1 (11), SME-2 (5), and NMC-A (1). All serine carbapenemases were detected in the United States, while MβL-producing strains were isolated in Europe. Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae showed high rates of resistance to most antimicrobial agents tested. The rank order of in vitro activity against these strains was as follows: tigecycline (100.0% susceptible) > polymyxin B (88.1%) > amikacin (73.0%) > imipenem (37.5%). Tigecycline was very active (MIC90, 1 μg/ml) against this significant, contemporary collection of well-characterized strains and appears to be an excellent option compared to the polymyxins for treatment of infections caused by these multidrug-resistant Enterobacteriaceae.
PMCID: PMC2224761  PMID: 18070960
12.  Phenotypic Screening of Carbapenemases and Associated β-Lactamases in Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2012;50(4):1295-1302.
Dissemination of carbapenem resistance among Enterobacteriaceae poses a considerable threat to public health. Carbapenemase gene detection by molecular methods is the gold standard but is available in only a few laboratories. The aim of this study was to test phenotypic methods for the detection of metallo-β-lactamase (MBL)- or Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC)-producing Enterobacteriaceae and associated mechanisms of β-lactam resistance against a panel of 30 genotypically characterized carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae : 9 MBL, 7 KPC, 6 OXA-48, and 8 extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) or AmpC β-lactamases associated with decreased permeability. We used carbapenemase inhibitor-impregnated agar to test for carbapenem-resistant strains. Differences in the inhibition zone sizes of the meropenem, imipenem, ertapenem, and doripenem disks were measured between control and inhibitor (EDTA or phenylboronic acid [PBA] with or without cloxacillin)-impregnated Mueller-Hinton agar with a cutoff of 10 mm. All 9 MBL- and 7 KPC-producing Enterobacteriaceae were identified from the differences in zone size in the presence and absence of specific inhibitors, regardless of the carbapenem MICs and including isolates with low-level resistance to carbapenems. We also detected their associated β-lactam resistance mechanisms (11 ESBL-type and 5 class A β-lactamase 2b). No differences in zone size were observed for OXA-48-producing strains or other carbapenem resistance mechanisms such as ESBL and decreased permeability. We propose a new strategy to detect carbapenemases (MBL- and KPC-type) and associated mechanisms of β-lactam resistance (ESBL or class A β-lactamase 2b) by the use of inhibitor-impregnated agar. A rapid phenotypic detection of resistance mechanisms is important for epidemiological purposes and for limiting the spread of resistant strains by implementing specific infection control measures.
PMCID: PMC3318498  PMID: 22259214
13.  Multiplex Real-Time PCR Assay for Detection and Classification of Klebsiella pneumoniae Carbapenemase Gene (blaKPC) Variants▿ 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2011;49(2):579-585.
Carbapenem resistance mediated by plasmid-borne Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemases (KPC) is an emerging problem of significant clinical importance in Gram-negative bacteria. Multiple KPC gene variants (blaKPC) have been reported, with KPC-2 (blaKPC-2) and KPC-3 (blaKPC-3) associated with epidemic outbreaks in New York City and various international settings. Here, we describe the development of a multiplex real-time PCR assay using molecular beacons (MB-PCR) for rapid and accurate identification of blaKPC variants. The assay consists of six molecular beacons and two oligonucleotide primer pairs, allowing for detection and classification of all currently described blaKPC variants (blaKPC-2 to blaKPC-11). The MB-PCR detection limit was 5 to 40 DNA copies per reaction and 4 CFU per reaction using laboratory-prepared samples. The MB-PCR probes were highly specific for each blaKPC variant, and cross-reactivity was not observed using DNA isolated from several bacterial species. A total of 457 clinical Gram-negative isolates were successfully characterized by our MB-PCR assay, with blaKPC-3 and blaKPC-2 identified as the most common types in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan region. The MB-PCR assay described herein is rapid, sensitive, and specific and should be useful for understanding the ongoing evolution of carbapenem resistance in Gram-negative bacteria. As novel blaKPC variants continue to emerge, the MB-PCR assay can be modified in response to epidemiologic developments.
PMCID: PMC3043520  PMID: 21123529
14.  Occurrence of False Positive Results for the Detection of Carbapenemases in Carbapenemase-Negative Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae Isolates 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(10):e26356.
Adequate detection of the production of carbapenemase in Enterobacteriaceae isolates is crucial for infection control measures and the appropriate choice of antimicrobial therapy. In this study, we investigated the frequency of false positive results for the detection of carbapenemases in carbapenemase-negative Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae clinical isolates by the modified Hodge test (MHT). Three hundred and one E. coli and K. pneumoniae clinical isolates were investigated. All produced extended spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs) but were susceptible to carbapenems. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed by the disk diffusion and agar dilution methods. The MHT was performed using the standard inoculum of test organisms recommended by the CLSI. Genes that encoded ESBLs and carbapenemases were identified by PCR and DNA sequencing. Among the 301 clinical isolates, none of the isolates conformed to the criteria for carbapenemase screening recommended by the CLSI. The susceptibility rates for imipenem, meropenem, and ertapenem all were 100.0%, 100.0%, and 100.0%, respectively. Of the 301 E. coli and K. pneumoniae isolates, none produced carbapenemase. The MHT gave a positive result for 3.3% (10/301) of the isolates. False positive results can occur when the MHT is used to detect carbapenemase in ESBL-producing isolates and clinical laboratories must be aware of this fact.
PMCID: PMC3198770  PMID: 22031829
15.  Rapid and sensitive detection of blaKPC gene in clinical isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae by a molecular real-time assay 
SpringerPlus  2013;2:31.
The aim of this study was the rapid identification of blaKPC gene in 38 Klebsiella pneumoniae clinical isolates with reduced susceptibility to carbapenems. The modified Hodge Test (MHT) was carried out to phenotypically determine whether resistance to carbapenems was mediated by a carbapenemase. The detection of the blaKPC gene was performed by real-time acid nucleic sequence-based amplification (NASBA™™), specifically designed for the detection of KPC RNA target.
Thirty-two/38 isolates evaluated by MHT showed the production of carbapenemases, while all the strains exhibited the production of KPC by inhibition test with phenylboronic acid (the combined disk test with IPM/IPM plus phenylboronic acid). The detection of blaKPC gene by Nuclisens EasyQ KPC yielded positive results in 38/38 (100%) strains. The presence of blaKPC gene was confirmed in all K. pneumoniae isolates when tested by the gold standard PCR assay.
In consideration of the serious challenge represented by infections due to K. pneumoniae it appears necessary the rapid identification of carbapenemases in clinical settings as it is made possible by the use of NASBA™ assay.
PMCID: PMC3581762  PMID: 23450269
Klebsiella pneumoniae; Carbapenem resistance; blaKPC; NASBA™
16.  First Canadian outbreak of Enterobacteriaceae-expressing Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase type 3 
Organisms expressing Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) are found in several regions worldwide but are rarely detected in Canada. The first outbreak of KPC-expressing strains of Enterobacteriaceae clinical isolates in a university-affiliated hospital intensive care unit (ICU) in Canada is described.
Enterobacteriaceae isolates that were flagged by the Vitek 2 (bioMérieux, France) system as possible carbapenemase producers were subjected to the modified Hodge test. Modified Hodge test-positive organisms were analyzed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, tested for KPC and other beta-lactamase genes by polymerase chain reaction analysis and underwent subsequent nucleic acid sequencing. Antimicrobial susceptibility profiles were determined by Vitek 2 and Etest (bioMérieux, France). A chart review was conducted to establish epidemiological links.
During the study period, 10 unique Enterobacteriaceae isolates expressing KPC were detected from nine ICU patients. Five patients had infections (three pneumonias, one surgical site infection, one urinary tract infection). Isolates included Escherichia coli (5), Klebsiella oxytoca (2), Serratia marcescens (2) and Citrobacter freundii (1). Polymerase chain reaction analysis and sequencing confirmed the presence of KPC-3 in all isolates; four also carried TEM, two CTX-M and one CMY-2. The imipenem minimum inhibitory concentrations as determined by Etest ranged from 0.75 μg/mL to ≥32 μg/mL. Pulsed field gel electrophoresis clonal patterns and patient location in the ICU revealed presumptive horizontal transmission events.
In the present study, Enterobacteriaceae isolates with KPC are emerging and can result in serious infections. The KPC gene can spread via plasmids to different genera of the Enterobacteriaceae family. The dissemination of KPC in Enterobacteriaceae and the consequences for treatment and infection control measures warrant a high degree of vigilance among clinicians and microbiologists.
PMCID: PMC3476554  PMID: 23997777
Beta-lactamases KPC; Carbapenemase; Disease outbreaks
17.  Development and Evaluation of a Real-Time PCR Assay for Detection of Klebsiella pneumoniae Carbapenemase Genes▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2008;47(2):322-326.
We developed a novel real-time PCR assay to detect Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemases (KPCs) and used this assay to screen clinical isolates of K. pneumoniae and Klebsiella oxytoca for the presence of blaKPC genes. The TaqMan real-time PCR assay amplified a 399-bp product from the blaKPC gene. The amplicon was designed so that the genes for isoenzymes KPC-1, -2, and -3 could be easily distinguished by subsequent restriction digestion of the amplicon with the enzymes BstNI and RsaI. The assay was validated with reference strains obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that contained each of the three described isoenzymes and 69 extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing clinical isolates (39 K. pneumoniae and 30 K. oxytoca isolates). Subsequently, the blaKPC PCR assay was used to confirm the presence of blaKPC genes in any meropenem-resistant Klebsiella spp. The PCR assay detected blaKPC in all of the reference strains, in 6 of 7 meropenem-resistant isolates, and in 0 of 62 meropenem-susceptible clinical isolates. The PCR assay was then used to confirm the presence of blaKPC in an additional 20 meropenem-resistant isolates from 16 patients. Restriction digestion of the PCR amplicons identified two blaKPC gene variants in our patient population: 9 isolates with C and 17 with T at nucleotide 944, consistent with blaKPC-2 and blaKPC-3, respectively. The real-time PCR assay is a rapid and accurate method to detect all KPC isoenzymes and was useful in documenting the presence and dissemination of KPC-producing strains in our patient population.
PMCID: PMC2643690  PMID: 19036932
18.  Isolation of a Klebsiella pneumoniae Isolate of Sequence Type 258 Producing KPC-2 Carbapenemase in Korea 
Carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates producing K. pneumoniae carbapenemases (KPC) were first reported in the USA in 2001, and since then, this infection has been reported in Europe, Israel, South America, and China. In Korea, the first KPC-2-producing K. pneumoniae sequence type (ST) 11 strain was detected in 2010. We report the case of a patient with a urinary tract infection caused by KPC-2-producing K. pneumoniae. This is the second report of a KPC-2-producing K. pneumoniae infection in Korea, but the multilocus sequence type was ST258. The KPC-2-producing isolate was resistant to all tested β-lactams (including imipenem and meropenem), amikacin, tobramycin, ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, but was susceptible to gentamicin, colistin, polymyxin B, and tigecycline. The KPC-2-producing isolate was negative to phenotypic extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) and AmpC detection tests and positive to modified Hodge test and carbapenemase inhibition test with aminophenylboronic acid.
PMCID: PMC3190012  PMID: 22016687
KPC-2; Klebsiella pneumoniae; ST258
19.  Outbreaks of Imipenem Resistant Acinetobacter Baumannii Producing OXA-23 β-Lactamase in a Tertiary Care Hospital in Korea 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2009;50(6):764-770.
Since November 2006, imipenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii isolates have increased in Kyung Hee University Hospital in Seoul, Korea. The purpose of this study was to determine the genetic basis and molecular epidemiology of outbreak isolates.
Materials and Methods
Forty-nine non-repetitive isolates of the 734 IRAB strains were investigated in order to determine their characteristics. The modified Hodge and the ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA)-disk synergy test were performed for the screening of carbapenemase and metallo-β-lactamase production. Multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays were performed for the detection of genes encoding for OXA-23-like, OXA-24-like, OXA-58-like and OXA-51-like carbapenemase. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) was performed for strain identification.
All isolates showed 100% resistance to ciprofloxacin and gentamicin, 97.9% resistance to cefepime, piperacillin/tazobactam, aztreonam, ceftazidime and piperacillin, 93.9% resistance to tobramycin and 57.1% resistance to amikacin. All of the 49 isolates (100%) showed positive results in the modified Hodge test and negative results in the EDTA-disk synergy test. They all (100%) possessed the encoding gene for an intrinsic OXA-51-like carbapenemase and an acquired OXA-23-like carbapenemase in the multiplex PCR assay. PFGE patterns revealed that all isolates were clonally related from A1 to A14.
It is concluded that all of the 49 IRAB isolates acquired resistance to imipenem by producing OXA-23 carbapenemase and they might have originated from a common source.
PMCID: PMC2796401  PMID: 20046415
Imipenem resistant Acinetobacter baumannii; outbreak; OXA-23
20.  Multi-centre evaluation of real-time multiplex PCR for detection of carbapenemase genes OXA-48, VIM, IMP, NDM and KPC 
Resistance to carbapenem antibiotics is emerging worldwide among Enterobacteriaceae. To prevent hospital transmission due to unnoticed carriage of carbapenemase producing micro-organisms in newly admitted patients, or follow-up of patients in an outbreak setting, a molecular screening method was developed for detection of the most prevalent carbapenemase genes; blaOXA-48, blaVIM, blaIMP, blaNDM and blaKPC.
A real-time multiplex PCR assay was evaluated using a collection of 86 Gram negative isolates, including 62 carbapenemase producers. Seven different laboratories carried out this method and used the assay for detection of the carbapenemase genes on a selection of 20 isolates.
Both sensitivity and specificity of the multiplex PCR assay was 100%, as established by results on the strain collection and the inter-laboratory comparisons.
In this study, we present a multiplex real-time PCR that is a robust, reliable and rapid method for the detection of the most prevalent carbapenemases blaOXA-48, blaVIM, blaIMP, blaNDM and blaKPC, and is suitable for screening of broth cultured rectal swabs and for identification of carbapenemase genes in cultures.
PMCID: PMC3897903  PMID: 24422880
Real-time multiplex PCR; Carbapenemases; OXA-48; VIM; IMP; NDM; KPC
21.  Amino Acid Sequence Requirements at Residues 69 and 238 for the SME-1 β-Lactamase To Confer Resistance to β-Lactam Antibiotics 
Carbapenem antibiotics have been used to counteract resistant strains of bacteria harboring β-lactamases and extended-spectrum β-lactamases. Four enzymes from the class A group of β-lactamases, NMC-A, IMI-1, SME-1, and KPC-1, efficiently hydrolyze carbapenem antibiotics. Sequence comparisons and structural information indicate that cysteines at amino acid residues 69 and 238, which are conserved in all four of these enzymes, form a disulfide bond that is unique to these β-lactamases. To test whether this disulfide bond is required for catalytic activity, the codons for residues Cys69 and Cys238 were randomized individually and simultaneously by PCR-based mutagenesis to create random replacement libraries for these positions. Mutants that were able to confer resistance to ampicillin, imipenem, or cefotaxime were selected from these libraries. The results indicate that positions Cys69 and Cys238 are critical for hydrolysis of all of the antibiotics tested, suggesting that the disulfide bond is generally required for this enzyme to catalyze the hydrolysis of β-lactam antibiotics.
PMCID: PMC149323  PMID: 12604542
22.  Evaluation of a DNA Microarray, the Check-Points ESBL/KPC Array, for Rapid Detection of TEM, SHV, and CTX-M Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamases and KPC Carbapenemases▿  
Extended-spectrum ß-lactamases (ESBLs) and Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemases (KPC carbepenemases) have rapidly emerged worldwide and require rapid identification. The Check-Points ESBL/KPC array, a new commercial system based on genetic profiling for the direct identification of ESBL producers (SHV, TEM, and CTX-M) and of KPC producers, was evaluated. Well-characterized Gram-negative rods (Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii) expressing various ß-lactamases (KPC-2, SHV, TEM, and CTX-M types) were used as well as wild-type reference strains and isolates harboring ß-lactamase genes not detected by the assay. In addition, phenotypically confirmed ESBL producers isolated in clinical samples over a 3-month period at the Bicetre hospital were analyzed using the Check-Points ESBL/KPC array and by standard PCR. The Check-Points ESBL/KPC array allowed fast detection of all TEM, SHV, and CTX-M ESBL genes and of the KPC-2 gene. The assay allowed easy differentiation between non-ESBL TEM and SHV and their ESBL derivatives. None of the other tested ß-lactamase genes were detected, underlining its high specificity. The technique is suited for Enterobacteriaceae but also for P. aeruginosa and A. baumannii. However, for nonfermenters, especially P. aeruginosa, a 1:10 dilution of the total DNA was necessary to detect KPC-2 and SHV-2a genes reliably. The Check-Points ESBL/KPC array is a powerful high-throughput tool for rapid identification of ESBLs and KPC producers in cultures. It provided definitive results within the same working day, allowing rapid implementation of isolation measures and appropriate antibiotic treatment. It showed an interesting potential for routine laboratory testing.
PMCID: PMC2916358  PMID: 20547813
23.  Contribution of OmpK36 to carbapenem susceptibility in KPC-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae 
Journal of Medical Microbiology  2009;58(Pt 10):1303-1308.
Isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae harbouring the carbapenemase KPC may have carbapenem MICs that remain in the susceptible range, and may therefore go unrecognized. To understand the mechanisms contributing to the variability in carbapenem MICs, 20 clinical isolates, all belonging to either of two clonal groups of KPC-possessing K. pneumoniae endemic to New York City, were examined. Expression of genes encoding KPC, the porins OmpK35 and OmpK36, and the efflux pump AcrAB was examined by real-time RT-PCR. Outer-membrane profiles of selected KPC-producing isolates were examined by SDS-PAGE, and proteins were identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry. The identification of SHV and TEM β-lactamases and the genomic sequences of ompK35 and ompK36 were determined by PCR and DNA sequencing, respectively. For one clonal group, carbapenem MICs increased with decreasing expression of ompK36. A second clonal group also had carbapenem MICs that correlated with ompK36 expression. However, all of the isolates in this latter group continued to produce OmpK36, suggesting that porin configuration may affect entry of carbapenems. For isolates that had the greatest expression of ompK36, carbapenem MICs tended to be lower when determined by the broth microdilution technique, and scattered colonies were seen around the Etest zones of inhibition. All of the KPC-producing isolates were highly resistant to ertapenem, regardless of ompK36 expression. In conclusion, isolates of KPC-possessing K. pneumoniae that express ompK36 tend to have lower MICs to carbapenems and therefore may be more difficult to detect by clinical laboratories. Regardless of ompK36 expression, all of the KPC producers were consistently resistant to ertapenem.
PMCID: PMC2887543  PMID: 19556371
24.  An Increase in the Clinical Isolation of Acquired AmpC β-Lactamase-Producing Klebsiella pneumoniae in Korea from 2007 to 2010 
Annals of Laboratory Medicine  2013;33(5):353-355.
We investigated the occurrence and genetic basis of AmpC β-lactamase (AmpC)-mediated antibiotic resistance, by examining Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Proteus mirabilis isolates at a university hospital, from 2007 to 2010. The ampC genes were detected by multiplex AmpC PCR, and AmpC-positive strains were subjected to DNA sequencing. Extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) production was assessed using the ESBL disk test based on the utilization of boronic acid. Carbapenem-resistant isolates were further investigated by the modified Hodge test, a carbapenemase inhibition test and SDS-PAGE experiments. AmpC expression was detected in 1.6% of E. coli (39 DHA-1, 45 CMY-2, and 1 CMY-1) isolates, 7.2% of K. pneumoniae (39 DHA-1, 45 CMY-2, and 1 CMY-1) isolates, and 2.5% of P. mirabilis (8 CMY-2 and 1 CMY-1) isolates. Of the 198 acquired AmpC producers, 58 isolates (29.3%) also produced an ESBL enzyme. Among the acquired AmpC-producing K. pneumoniae isolates, the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) MIC50/MIC90 values for cefoxitin, cefotaxime, cefepime, imipenem, and meropenem were >32/>32, 16/>32, 1/16, 0.25/0.5, and <0.125/0.125 µg/mL, respectively. The MIC values for carbapenem were ≥2 µg/mL for 2 K. pneumoniae isolates, both of which carried the blaDHA-1 gene with a loss of OmpK36 expression, but were negative for carbapenemase production. The acquisition of AmpC-mediated resistance in K. pneumoniae isolates increased, as did the proportion of AmpC and ESBL co-producers among the hospital isolates. The accurate identification of isolates producing AmpCs and ESBLs may aid in infection control and will assist physicians in selecting an appropriate antibiotic regimen.
PMCID: PMC3756240  PMID: 24003426
Klebsiella pneumoniae; AmpC β-lactamases; DHA-1; CMY-2
25.  Amino Acid Residues That Contribute to Substrate Specificity of Class A β-Lactamase SME-1 
Carbapenem antibiotics are used as antibiotics of last resort because they possess a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity and are not easily hydrolyzed by β-lactamases. Recently, class A enzymes, such as the SME-1, NMC-A, and IMI-1 β-lactamases, have been identified with the capacity to hydrolyze carbapenem antibiotics. Traditional class A β-lactamases, such as TEM-1 and SHV-1, are unable to hydrolyze carbapenem antibiotics and exhibit some differences in sequence from those that are able to hydrolyze carbapenem antibiotics. The positions that differ may contribute to the unique substrate specificity of the class A carbapenemase SME-1. Codons in the SME-1 gene representing residues 104, 105, 132, 167, 237, and 241 were randomized by site-directed mutagenesis, and functional mutants were selected for the ability to hydrolyze imipenem, ampicillin, or cefotaxime. Although several positions are important for hydrolysis of β-lactam antibiotics, no single position was found to uniquely contribute to carbapenem hydrolysis. The results of this study support a model whereby the carbapenemase activity of SME-1 is due to a highly distributed set of interactions that subtly alter the structure of the active-site pocket.
PMCID: PMC1196253  PMID: 16048956

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