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1.  Characterization of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin-resistant enterococci and extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli in intensive care units in Canada: Results of the Canadian National Intensive Care Unit (CAN-ICU) study (2005–2006) 
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) are important hospital pathogens in Canada and worldwide.
To genotypically and phenotypically characterize the isolates of MRSA, VRE and ESBL-producing E coli collected from patients in Canadian intensive care units (ICUs) in 2005 and 2006.
Between September 1, 2005, and June 30, 2006, 19 medical centres participating in the Canadian National Intensive Care Unit (CAN-ICU) study collected 4133 unique patient isolates associated with infections in ICUs. Isolates of MRSA underwent mecA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Panton-Valentine leukocidin analysis; they were typed using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. All isolates of E coli with ceftriaxone minimum inhibitory concentrations greater than or equal to 1 μg/mL were tested for the presence of an ESBL using the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute double-disk diffusion method. Subsequently, PCR and sequence analysis were used to identify blaSHV, blaTEM and blaCTX-M. Isolates of VRE were tested for the presence of vanA and vanB genes by PCR.
Of the 4133 ICU isolates collected, MRSA accounted for 4.7% (193 of 4133) of all isolates. MRSA represented 21.9% (193 of 880) of all S aureus collected during the study; 90.7% were health care-associated MRSA strains and 9.3% were community-associated MRSA strains. Resistance rates for the isolates of MRSA were 91.8% to levofloxacin, 89.9% to clarithromycin, 76.1% to clindamycin and 11.7% to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole; no isolates were resistant to vancomycin, linezolid, tigecycline or daptomycin. ESBL-producing E coli accounted for 0.4% (18 of 4133) of all isolates and 3.7% (18 of 493) of E coli isolates. All 18 ESBL-producing E coli were PCR-positive for CTX-M, with blaCTX-M-15 occurring in 72% (13 of 18) of isolates. All ESBL-producing E coli displayed a multidrug-resistant phenotype (resistant to third-generation cephalosporins and one or more other classes of antimicrobials), with 77.8% of isolates resistant to ciprofloxacin, 55.6% resistant to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, 27.8% resistant to gentamicin and 26.3% resistant to doxycycline; all isolates were susceptible to ertapenem, meropenem and tigecycline. VRE accounted for 0.4% (17 of 4133) of all isolates and 6.7% (17 of 255) of enterococci isolates; 88.2% of VRE had the vanA genotype. Isolated VRE that were tested were uniformly susceptible to linezolid, tigecycline and daptomycin.
MRSA isolated in Canadian ICUs in 2005 and 2006 was predominately health care-associated (90.7%), ESBL-producing E coli were all CTX-M producers (72% blaCTX-M-15) and VRE primarily harboured a vanA genotype (88.2%). MRSA, ESBL-producing E coli and VRE were frequently multidrug resistant.
PMCID: PMC2605872  PMID: 19412382
CAN-ICU; ESBL E coli; Intensive care; MRSA; Resistance; VRE
2.  Significant Reduction of Antibiotic Use in the Community after a Nationwide Campaign in France, 2002–2007 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(6):e1000084.
Didier Guillemot and colleagues describe the evaluation of a nationwide programme in France aimed at decreasing unnecessary outpatient prescriptions for antibiotics. The campaign was successful, particularly in reducing prescriptions for children.
Overuse of antibiotics is the main force driving the emergence and dissemination of bacterial resistance in the community. France consumes more antibiotics and has the highest rate of beta-lactam resistance in Streptococcus pneumoniae than any other European country. In 2001, the government initiated “Keep Antibiotics Working”; the program's main component was a campaign entitled “Les antibiotiques c'est pas automatique” (“Antibiotics are not automatic”) launched in 2002. We report the evaluation of this campaign by analyzing the evolution of outpatient antibiotic use in France 2000–2007, according to therapeutic class and geographic and age-group patterns.
Methods and Findings
This evaluation is based on 2000–2007 data, including 453,407,458 individual reimbursement data records and incidence of flu-like syndromes (FLSs). Data were obtained from the computerized French National Health Insurance database and provided by the French Sentinel Network. As compared to the preintervention period (2000–2002), the total number of antibiotic prescriptions per 100 inhabitants, adjusted for FLS frequency during the winter season, changed by −26.5% (95% confidence interval [CI] −33.5% to −19.6%) over 5 years. The decline occurred in all 22 regions of France and affected all antibiotic therapeutic classes except quinolones. The greatest decrease, −35.8% (95% CI −48.3% to −23.2%), was observed among young children aged 6–15 years. A significant change of −45% in the relationship between the incidence of flu-like syndromes and antibiotic prescriptions was observed.
The French national campaign was associated with a marked reduction of unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions, particularly in children. This study provides a useful method for assessing public-health strategies designed to reduce antibiotic use.
Editors' Summary
In 1928, Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, the first antibiotic (a drug that kills bacteria). By the early 1940s, large amounts of penicillin could be made and, in the following decades, several other classes of powerful antibiotics were discovered. For a time, it looked like bacteria and the diseases that they cause had been defeated. But bacteria rapidly became resistant to these wonder drugs and nowadays, antibiotic resistance is a pressing public-health concern. Almost every type of disease-causing bacteria has developed resistance to one or more antibiotic in clinical use, and multidrug-resistant bacteria are causing outbreaks of potentially fatal diseases in hospitals and in the community. For example, multidrug-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae (multidrug-resistant pneumococci or MRP) is now very common. S. pneumoniae colonize the nose and throat (the upper respiratory tract) and can cause diseases that range from mild ear infections to life-threatening pneumonia, particularly in young children and elderly people.
Why Was This Study Done?
For years, doctors have been prescribing (and patients have been demanding) antibiotics for viral respiratory infections (VRIs) such as colds and flu even though antibiotics do not cure viral infections. This overuse of antibiotics has been the main driving force in the spread of MRP. Thus, the highest rate of S. pneumoniae antibiotic resistance in Europe occurs in France, which has one of the highest rates of antibiotic consumption in the world. In 2001 France initiated “le plan national pour préserver l'efficacité des antibiotiques” to reduce the inappropriate use of antibiotics, particularly for the treatment of VRIs among children. The main component of the program was the “Antibiotiques c'est pas automatique” (“Antibiotics are not automatic”) campaign, which ran from 2002 to 2007 during the winter months when VRIs mainly occur. The campaign included an educational campaign for health care workers, the promotion of rapid tests for diagnosis of streptococcal infections, and a public information campaign about VRIs and about antibiotic resistance. In this study, the researchers evaluate the campaign by analyzing outpatient antibiotic use throughout France from 2000 to 2007.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers obtained information about antibiotic prescriptions and about the occurrence of flu-like illnesses during the study period from the French National Health Insurance database and national disease surveillance system, respectively. After adjusting for variations in the frequency of flu-like illnesses, compared to the preintervention period (2000–2002), the number of antibiotic prescriptions per 100 inhabitants decreased by a quarter over the five winters of the “Antibiotics are not automatic” campaign. The use of all major antibiotic classes except quinolones decreased in all 22 regions of France. Thus, whereas in 2000, more than 70 prescriptions per 100 inhabitants were issued during the winter in 15 regions, by 2006/7, no regions exceeded this prescription rate. The greatest decrease in prescription rate (a decrease of more than a third by 2006/7) was among children aged 6–15 years. Finally, although the rates of antibiotic prescriptions reflected the rates of flu-like illness throughout the campaign, by 2006/7 this relationship was much weaker, which suggests that fewer antibiotics were being prescribed for VRIs.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that the “Antibiotics are not automatic” campaign was associated with a reduction in antibiotic prescriptions, particularly in children. Because the whole French population was exposed to the campaign, these findings do not prove that the campaign actually caused the reduction in antibiotic prescriptions. The observed decrease might have been caused by other initiatives in France or elsewhere or by the introduction of a S. pneumoniae vaccine during the study period, for example. However, an independent survey indicated that fewer members of the public expected an antibiotic prescription for a VRI at the end of the campaign than at the start, that more people knew that antibiotics only kill bacteria, and that doctors were more confident about not prescribing antibiotics for VRIs. Thus, campaigns like “Antibiotics are not automatic” may be a promising way to reduce the overuse of antibiotics and to slow the spread of antibiotic resistance until new classes of effective antibiotics are developed.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Stephen Harbarth and Benedikt Huttner
The Bugs and Drugs Web site from the UK National electronic Library of Infection provides information about antibiotic resistance and links to other resources
The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases provides information on antimicrobial drug resistance and on pneumococcal pneumonia
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also have information on antibiotic resistance (in English and Spanish)
The European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption Web site provides information on antibiotic consumption in European countries
Les antibiotiques c'est pas automatique provides information about the “Antibiotics are not automatic” campaign (in French)
Information on the Plan National pour Pérserver l'efficacité des antibiotiques is also available (in French)
PMCID: PMC2683932  PMID: 19492093
3.  Multiresistant Bacteria Isolated from Chicken Meat in Austria 
Multidrug resistant bacteria (MDR bacteria), such as extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) Enterobacteriaceae, methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE), pose a challenge to the human health care system. In recent years, these MDR bacteria have been detected increasingly outside the hospital environment. Also the contamination of food with MDR bacteria, particularly of meat and meat products, is a concern. The aim of the study was to evaluate the occurrence of MDR bacteria in chicken meat on the Austrian market. For this study, 50 chicken meat samples were analysed. All samples originated from chickens slaughtered in Austrian slaughterhouses and were marked as produced in Austria. Samples were analysed for the presence of ESBL Enterobacteriaceae, methicillin resistant Staphylococci and VRE. Resistance genes of the isolated bacteria were characterised by PCR and sequencing. In the present study 26 ESBL producing E. coli, five mecA gene harbouring Staphylococci (but no MRSA), and four VRE were detected in chicken meat samples of Austrian origin. In 24 (48%) of the samples no ESBL Enterobacteriaceae, MRSA, methicillin resistant coagulase negative Staphylococcus (MRCNS) or VRE could be detected. None of the samples contained all three types of investigated multiresistant bacteria. In concordance to previous studies, CTX-M-1 and SHV-12 were the dominant ESBL genes.
PMCID: PMC4276633  PMID: 25485979
chicken meat; ESBL; mecA; Staphylococcus; VRE; CTX-M; SHV
4.  Colonization of multidrug resistant pathogens in a hybrid pediatric cardiac surgery center 
Archives of Medical Science : AMS  2016;12(3):639-644.
The incidence of multidrug resistant microorganisms worldwide is increasing. The aim of the study was to present institutional experience with the multidrug resistant microorganism colonization patterns observed in children with congenital heart diseases hospitalized in a hybrid pediatric cardiac surgery center.
Material and methods
Microbiological samples were routinely collected in all children admitted to our department. All microbiological samples were analyzed with regard to multidrug resistant microorganisms: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), Gram-negative rods producing extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBL), multidrug resistant Gram-negative rods (MDR-GNRs), carbapenemase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (KPC), carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CRPA).
In 30 (9%) swabs ‘alert’ pathogens from the above group of listed microorganisms were found. All positive swabs were isolated in 19 (16.1%) children. Multidrug resistant pathogen colonization was statistically significantly more often observed in children admitted from other medical facilities than in children admitted from home (38% vs. 10%, p = 0.0089). In the group of children younger than 6 months ‘alert’ pathogen were more often observed than in older children (34.1% vs. 5.4%, p < 0.001).
Preoperative multidrug resistant pathogen screening in children admitted and referred for congenital heart disease procedures may be of great importance since many of these patients are colonized with resistant bacteria. Knowledge of the patient's microbiome is important in local epidemiological control along with tailoring the most effective preoperative prophylactic antibiotic for each patient. The impact of preoperative screening on postoperative infections and other complications requires further analysis.
PMCID: PMC4889698  PMID: 27279859
alert pathogen colonization; congenital heart defects; cardiac surgery; surgical infections
5.  Automated Detection of Infectious Disease Outbreaks in Hospitals: A Retrospective Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(2):e1000238.
Susan Huang and colleagues describe an automated statistical software, WHONET-SaTScan, its application in a hospital, and the potential it has to identify hospital infection clusters that had escaped routine detection.
Detection of outbreaks of hospital-acquired infections is often based on simple rules, such as the occurrence of three new cases of a single pathogen in two weeks on the same ward. These rules typically focus on only a few pathogens, and they do not account for the pathogens' underlying prevalence, the normal random variation in rates, and clusters that may occur beyond a single ward, such as those associated with specialty services. Ideally, outbreak detection programs should evaluate many pathogens, using a wide array of data sources.
Methods and Findings
We applied a space-time permutation scan statistic to microbiology data from patients admitted to a 750-bed academic medical center in 2002–2006, using WHONET-SaTScan laboratory information software from the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance. We evaluated patients' first isolates for each potential pathogenic species. In order to evaluate hospital-associated infections, only pathogens first isolated >2 d after admission were included. Clusters were sought daily across the entire hospital, as well as in hospital wards, specialty services, and using similar antimicrobial susceptibility profiles. We assessed clusters that had a likelihood of occurring by chance less than once per year. For methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), WHONET-SaTScan–generated clusters were compared to those previously identified by the Infection Control program, which were based on a rule-based criterion of three occurrences in two weeks in the same ward. Two hospital epidemiologists independently classified each cluster's importance. From 2002 to 2006, WHONET-SaTScan found 59 clusters involving 2–27 patients (median 4). Clusters were identified by antimicrobial resistance profile (41%), wards (29%), service (13%), and hospital-wide assessments (17%). WHONET-SaTScan rapidly detected the two previously known gram-negative pathogen clusters. Compared to rule-based thresholds, WHONET-SaTScan considered only one of 73 previously designated MRSA clusters and 0 of 87 VRE clusters as episodes statistically unlikely to have occurred by chance. WHONET-SaTScan identified six MRSA and four VRE clusters that were previously unknown. Epidemiologists considered more than 95% of the 59 detected clusters to merit consideration, with 27% warranting active investigation or intervention.
Automated statistical software identified hospital clusters that had escaped routine detection. It also classified many previously identified clusters as events likely to occur because of normal random fluctuations. This automated method has the potential to provide valuable real-time guidance both by identifying otherwise unrecognized outbreaks and by preventing the unnecessary implementation of resource-intensive infection control measures that interfere with regular patient care.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Admission to a hospital is often a life-saving necessity—individuals injured in a road accident, for example, may need immediate medical and surgical attention if they are to survive. Unfortunately, many patients acquire infections, some of which are life-threatening, during their stay in a hospital. The World Health Organization has estimated that, globally, 8.7% of hospital patients develop hospital-acquired infections (infections that are identified more than two days after admission to hospital). In the US alone, 2 million people develop a hospital-acquired infection every year, often an infection of a surgical wound, or a urinary tract or lung infection. Infections are common among hospital patients because increasing age or underlying illnesses can reduce immunity to infection and because many medical and surgical procedures bypass the body's natural protective barriers. In addition, poor infection control practices can facilitate the transmission of bacteria—including meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE)—and other infectious agents (pathogens) between patients.
Why Was This Study Done?
Sometimes, the number of cases of hospital-acquired infections increases unexpectedly or a new infection emerges. Such clusters account for relatively few health care–associated infections, but, because they may arise from the transmission of a pathogen within a hospital, they need to be rapidly identified and measures implemented (for example, isolation of affected patients) to stop transmission if an outbreak is confirmed. Currently, the detection of clusters of hospital-acquired infections is based on simple rules, such as the occurrence of three new cases of a single pathogen in two weeks on the same ward. This rule-based approach relies on the human eye to detect infection clusters within microbiology data (information collected on the pathogens isolated from patients), it focuses on a few pathogens, and it does not consider the random variation in infection rates or the possibility that clusters might be associated with shared facilities rather than with individual wards. In this study, the researchers test whether an automated statistical system can detect outbreaks of hospital-acquired infections quickly and accurately.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers combined two software packages used to track diseases in populations to create the WHONET-SaTScan cluster detection tool. They then compared the clusters of hospital-acquired infection identified by the new tool in microbiology data from a 750-bed US academic medical center with those generated by the hospital's infection control program, which was largely based on the simple rule described above. WHONET-SaTScan found 59 clusters of infection that occurred between 2002 and 2006, about three-quarters of which were identified by characteristics other than a ward-based location. Nearly half the cluster alerts were generated on the basis of shared antibiotic susceptibility patterns. Although WHONET-SaTScan identified all the clusters previously identified by the hospital's infection control program, it classified most of these clusters as likely to be the result of normal random variations in infection rates rather than the result of “true” outbreaks. By contrast, the hospital's infection control department only identified three of the 59 statistically significant clusters identified by WHONET-SaTScan. Furthermore, the new tool identified six previously unknown MRSA outbreaks and four previously unknown VRE outbreaks. Finally, two hospital epidemiologists (scientists who study diseases in populations) classified 95% of the clusters detected by WHONET-SaTScan as worthy of consideration by the hospital infection control team and a quarter of the clusters as warranting active investigation or intervention.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that automated statistical software should be able to detect clusters of hospital-acquired infections that would escape detection using routine rule-based systems. Importantly, they also suggest that an automated system would be able to discount a large number of supposed outbreaks identified by rule-based systems. These findings need to be confirmed in other settings and in prospective studies in which the outcomes of clusters detected with WHONET-SaTScan are carefully analyzed. For now, however, these findings suggest that automated statistical tools could provide hospital infection control experts with valuable real-time guidance by identifying outbreaks that would be missed by routine detection methods and by preventing the implementation of intensive and costly infection control measures in situations where they are unnecessary.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The World Health Organization's Prevention of Hospital-Acquired Infections, A Practical Guide contains detailed information on all aspects of hospital-acquired infections
MedlinePlus provides links to information on infection control in hospitals (in English and Spanish)
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also provides information on infectious diseases in health care settings (in English and Spanish)
The WHONET/Baclink software and the SatScan software, the two components of WHONET-SaTScan are both available on the internet (the WHONET-SaTScan cluster detection tool is freely available as part of the version of WHONET/BacLink released June 2009)
PMCID: PMC2826381  PMID: 20186274
6.  Analysis of Transmission of MRSA and ESBL-E among Pigs and Farm Personnel 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(9):e0138173.
Livestock-associated bacteria with resistance to two or more antibiotic drug classes have heightened our awareness for the consequences of antibiotic consumption and spread of resistant bacterial strains in the veterinary field. In this study we assessed the prevalence of concomitant colonization with livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) and enterobacteriaceae expressing extended-spectrum betalactamases (ESBL-E) in farms at the German-Dutch border region. Nasal colonization of pigs with MRSA (113/547 (20.7%)) was less frequent than rectal colonization with ESBL-E (163/540 (30.2%)). On the individual farm level MRSA correlated with ESBL-E recovery. The data further provide information on prevalence at different stages of pig production, including abattoirs, as well as in air samples and humans living and working on the farms. Notably, MRSA was detected in stable air samples of 34 out of 35 pig farms, highlighting air as an important MRSA transmission reservoir. The majority of MRSA isolates, including those from humans, displayed tetracycline resistance and spa types t011 and t034 characteristic for LA-MRSA, demonstrating transmission from pigs to humans. ESBL-E positive air samples were detected on 6 out of 35 farms but no pig-to-human transmission was found. Detection of ESBL-E, e.g. mostly Escherichia coli with CTX-M-type ESBL, was limited to these six farms. Molecular typing revealed transmission of ESBL-E within the pig compartments; however, related strains were also found on unrelated farms. Although our data suggest that acquisition of MRSA and ESBL-E might occur among pigs in the abattoirs, MRSA and ESBL-E were not detected on the carcasses. Altogether, our data define stable air (MRSA), pig compartments (ESBL-E) and abattoir waiting areas (MRSA and ESBL-E) as major hot spots for transmission of MRSA and/or ESBL-E along the pig production chain.
PMCID: PMC4589321  PMID: 26422606
7.  Antimicrobial-Resistant Pathogens in Intensive Care Units in Canada: Results of the Canadian National Intensive Care Unit (CAN-ICU) Study, 2005-2006▿  
Between 1 September 2005 and 30 June 2006, 19 medical centers collected 4,180 isolates recovered from clinical specimens from patients in intensive care units (ICUs) in Canada. The 4,180 isolates were collected from 2,292 respiratory specimens (54.8%), 738 blood specimens (17.7%), 581 wound/tissue specimens (13.9%), and 569 urinary specimens (13.6%). The 10 most common organisms isolated from 79.5% of all clinical specimens were methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) (16.4%), Escherichia coli (12.8%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (10.0%), Haemophilus influenzae (7.9%), coagulase-negative staphylococci/Staphylococcus epidermidis (6.5%), Enterococcus spp. (6.1%), Streptococcus pneumoniae (5.8%), Klebsiella pneumoniae (5.8%), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) (4.7%), and Enterobacter cloacae (3.9%). MRSA made up 22.3% (197/884) of all S. aureus isolates (90.9% of MRSA were health care-associated MRSA, and 9.1% were community-associated MRSA), while vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) made up 6.7% (11/255) of all enterococcal isolates (88.2% of VRE had the vanA genotype). Extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing E. coli and K. pneumoniae occurred in 3.5% (19/536) and 1.8% (4/224) of isolates, respectively. All 19 ESBL-producing E. coli isolates were PCR positive for CTX-M, with blaCTX-M-15 occurring in 74% (14/19) of isolates. For MRSA, no resistance against daptomycin, linezolid, tigecycline, and vancomycin was observed, while the resistance rates to other agents were as follows: clarithromycin, 89.9%; clindamycin, 76.1%; fluoroquinolones, 90.1 to 91.8%; and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, 11.7%. For E. coli, no resistance to amikacin, meropenem, and tigecycline was observed, while resistance rates to other agents were as follows: cefazolin, 20.1%; cefepime, 0.7%; ceftriaxone, 3.7%; gentamicin, 3.0%; fluoroquinolones, 21.1%; piperacillin-tazobactam, 1.9%; and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, 24.8%. Resistance rates for P. aeruginosa were as follows: amikacin, 2.6%; cefepime, 10.2%; gentamicin, 15.2%; fluoroquinolones, 23.8 to 25.5%; meropenem, 13.6%; and piperacillin-tazobactam, 9.3%. A multidrug-resistant (MDR) phenotype (resistance to three or more of the following drugs: cefepime, piperacillin-tazobactam, meropenem, amikacin or gentamicin, and ciprofloxacin) occurred frequently in P. aeruginosa (12.6%) but uncommonly in E. coli (0.2%), E. cloacae (0.6%), or K. pneumoniae (0%). In conclusion, S. aureus (MSSA and MRSA), E. coli, P. aeruginosa, H. influenzae, Enterococcus spp., S. pneumoniae, and K. pneumoniae are the most common isolates recovered from clinical specimens in Canadian ICUs. A MDR phenotype is common for P. aeruginosa isolates in Canadian ICUs.
PMCID: PMC2292546  PMID: 18285482
8.  Review on colonization of residents and staff in Italian long-term care facilities by multidrug-resistant bacteria compared with other European countries 
Rates of colonization and infection with multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria are increasing worldwide, in both acute care hospitals and long-term care facilities (LTCFs). Italy has one of the highest prevalence of MDR bacteria in European countries, especially with regard to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) or carbapenemase producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE).
Review of studies on colonization by MDR bacteria from Italian LTCFs, risk factors for colonization and molecular characteristics of surveillance and clinical isolates, compared with other European countries.
High variability of MDR colonization has been reported within and especially between European countries. Only a few surveillance studies have been performed in Italian LTCFs; these show MRSA colonization prevalence of 7.8–38.7 % for residents and 5.2–7.0 % for staff members, ESBL prevalence of 49.0–64.0 % for residents and 5.2–14.5 % for staff and prevalence of CPE of 1.0–6.3 % for residents and 0.0–1.5 % for staff. In Italian LTCFs, as well as in other European countries, the most prevalent ESBLs from surveillance or clinical Escherichia coli isolates were found to be CTX-M-type enzymes, particularly CTX-M-15, expressed by the pandemic ST131 clonal group; this lineage also expresses carbapenemase genes of the bla VIM and bla KPC types. Various risk factors for colonization of residents by MDR bacteria were identified.
The limited data from Italian LTCFs confirms these settings as important reservoirs for MDR organisms, allowing important considerations regarding the infection risk by these organisms. Nevertheless, more extended and countrywide screening studies for MDR colonization in Italian LTCFs are required. To promote further studies of various microbiological aspects related to LTCFs, the Association of Italian Clinical Microbiologists (Associazione Microbiologi Clinici Italiani; AMCLI) in 2016 has set up a new Working Group for the Study of Infections in LTCFs (Gruppo di Lavoro per lo Studio delle Infezioni nelle Residenze Sanitarie Assistite e Strutture Territoriali assimilabili; GLISTer), consisting of Clinical Microbiologists represented by the authors of this review article.
PMCID: PMC5057254  PMID: 27766146
LTCF; ESBL; MRSA; Carbapenemase; Colonization
9.  A prospective observational study of the prevalence and risk factors for colonization by antibiotic resistant bacteria in patients at admission to hospital in Singapore 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2014;14:298.
Drug resistant organisms pose an increasing threat to the successful treatment of common infections. Understanding colonization patterns of these bacteria is important for effective antibiotic treatment and infection control guidelines.
A prospective observational study was performed to determine the prevalence of colonization with extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-E), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) among patients admitted via the emergency department to a public tertiary hospital in Singapore. Anterior nares, groin, axillary and rectal swabs were collected at admission and cultured using standard bacteriological techniques. Clinical data including healthcare contact within the past 12 months and recent antibiotic use was collected and analyzed using a logistic regression model.
1006 patients were screened. 124 (12.4%) were colonized by ESBL-E, 18 (1.8%) by MRSA while no VRE was detected. Antibiotic use within the past month was the only significant predictor for ESBL-E colonization in the regression model, with an adjusted odds ratio (AOR) of 2.58 (1.04 to 6.42). In participants recently prescribed antibiotics and hospitalized in the previous 3 months, 29.4% were colonized by ESBL-E. This represented 20.2% of the total ESBL-E burden, and ESBL-E was also detected in 6.3% of participants with no healthcare contact. Hospitalization and outpatient hospital visits predicted MRSA colonization in the univariate analysis. Neither was statistically significant in the logistic regression model, with AORs for MRSA colonization following hospitalization in the past 3 and 12 months of 3.81 [95% CI 0.84-17.28] and 3.48 [0.64-18.92] respectively.
A high prevalence of colonization with ESBL-E was evident among patients at admission, even in the absence of recent antibiotic use or contact with healthcare.
PMCID: PMC4057577  PMID: 24889720
Antibiotics; Colonization; ESBL; Fecal carriage; MRSA
10.  Systematic Review of Measurement and Adjustment for Colonization Pressure in Studies of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci, and Clostridium difficile Acquisition 
Colonization pressure is an important infection control metric. The aim of this study was to describe the definition and measurement of and adjustment for colonization pressure in nosocomial-acquisition risk factor studies of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), and Clostridium difficile.
We performed a computerized search of studies of nosocomial MRSA, VRE, and C. difficile acquisition published before July 1, 2009, through MEDLINE. Studies were included if a study outcome was MRSA, VRE, or C. difficile acquisition; the authors identified risk factors associated with MRSA, VRE, or C. difficile acquisition; and the study measured colonization pressure.
The initial MEDLINE search yielded 505 articles. Sixty-six of these were identified as studies of nosocomial MRSA, VRE, or C. difficile acquisition; of these, 18 (27%) measured colonization pressure and were included in the final review. The definition of colonization pressure varied considerably between studies: the proportion of MRSA- or VRE-positive patients (5 studies), the proportion of MRSA- or VRE-positive patient-days (6 studies), or the total or mean number of MRSA-, VRE-, or C. difficile–positive patients or patient-days (7 studies) in the unit over periods of varying length. In 10 of 13 studies, colonization pressure was independently associated with MRSA, VRE, or C. difficile acquisition.
There is a need for a simple and consistent method to quantify colonization pressure in both research and routine clinical care to accurately assess the effect of colonization pressure on cross-transmission of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
PMCID: PMC3383663  PMID: 21515979
11.  Feasibility and Cost-Effectiveness of Treating Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis: A Cohort Study in the Philippines 
PLoS Medicine  2006;3(9):e352.
Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is an important global health problem, and a control strategy known as DOTS-Plus has existed since 1999. However, evidence regarding the feasibility, effectiveness, cost, and cost-effectiveness of DOTS-Plus is still limited.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We evaluated the feasibility, effectiveness, cost, and cost-effectiveness of a DOTS-Plus pilot project established at Makati Medical Center in Manila, the Philippines, in 1999. Patients with MDR-TB are treated with regimens, including first- and second-line drugs, tailored to their drug susceptibility pattern (i.e., individualised treatment). We considered the cohort enrolled between April 1999 and March 2002. During this three-year period, 118 patients were enrolled in the project; 117 were considered in the analysis. Seventy-one patients (61%) were cured, 12 (10%) failed treatment, 18 (15%) died, and 16 (14%) defaulted. The average cost per patient treated was US$3,355 from the perspective of the health system, of which US$1,557 was for drugs, and US$837 from the perspective of patients. The mean cost per disability-adjusted life year (DALY) gained by the DOTS-Plus project was US$242 (range US$85 to US$426).
Treatment of patients with MDR-TB using the DOTS-Plus strategy and individualised drug regimens can be feasible, comparatively effective, and cost-effective in low- and middle-income countries.
Evaluation of 117 patients enrolled in a DOTS-Plus pilot project in the Philippines showed that in this setting the strategy is feasible.
Editors' Summary
Tuberculosis (TB) causes the death of some 2 million people each year. An estimated one in three people worldwide are infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes the disease. Because single-drug treatment leads to treatment failure and antibiotic resistance, treatment for active TB is complicated, usually involving four different antibiotics, at least two of which are continued for six months or more. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a specific strategy (DOTS) for diagnosing and treating TB (see Web link below).
The DOTS approach includes standard regimens of first-line drugs which cure about 90% of patients with drug-susceptible TB, and which cost as little as US$10 per patient. Unfortunately, TB resistance to at least two of the most effective DOTS drugs has developed at sites in both industrialized and developing countries, causing approximately 460,000 cases of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) per year. Second-line antibiotics, which tend to be more expensive or more difficult to take, can effectively treat many cases of MDR-TB. “DOTS-Plus” programmes, which use combinations of first- and second-line drugs to treat MDR-TB, are therefore becoming increasingly important in controlling TB worldwide. A recent study found DOTS-Plus strategies to be cost-effective in Peru, but cure rates of MDR-TB were relatively low.
Why Was This Study Done?
Because the use of second-line antibiotics is costly and the treatment of MDR-TB has a higher failure rate than that of fully drug-susceptible TB, policymakers responsible for allocation of limited healthcare resources need information on how well DOTS-Plus programmes work and how much they cost to operate. This study was undertaken to assess the feasibility, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness of a DOTS-Plus project in the Philippines, a lower middle–income country with a high rate of TB and approximately 25,000 cases of MDR-TB.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find? 
The researchers reported on a DOTS-Plus pilot project at Makati Medical Center in Manila, analyzing information from 118 patients enrolled in the project between 1999 and 2002. The diagnosis of MDR-TB was based on laboratory culture and antibiotic resistance testing of specimens from patients who had continued symptoms of TB following DOTS treatment, or other evidence of possible MDR-TB. Patients were treated with five-drug combinations individually selected based on resistance testing results, and administered under direct observation. After cultures had remained consistently negative for six months, patients were switched to a four-drug regimen with intermittent clinic observation until cultures remained negative for at least 18 months.
Cost-effectiveness was assessed by comparing the costs and effects of the project to the costs and effects that would have applied in the absence of the project, namely, no treatment of MDR-TB (except what patients could have purchased privately), or standard first-line DOTS treatment (which would not cure the majority of patients with MDR-TB, and is associated with a high chance of relapse in those who do appear cured). Costs of the DOTS-Plus project were based on expenditure records, project records, and interviews with staff, patients, and funding agencies. Effects of the project were based on treatment outcomes observed among enrolled patients, as well as on data on long-term outcomes among patients treated for MDR-TB in the US who were followed for up to ten years. Treatment costs for the situation in which no DOTS-Plus project exists were estimated using national data reported to WHO, as well as questionnaires administered to local patients in whom DOTS treatment had failed. Treatment outcomes where DOTS-Plus is not available were estimated from studies done in other TB-affected countries.
The researchers found that the cure rate of MDR-TB in this project was 61%. The cost per patient treated was US$4,192. They also calculated that the cost-effectiveness of the DOTS-Plus strategy was US$242 per disability-adjusted life year (DALY) gained, of which US$179 was paid by the healthcare system.
What Do These Findings Mean?
The cure rate for MDR-TB in this project compares favourably to rates in other resource-limited settings where second-line TB drugs are used, and is much higher than in areas where these drugs are not available. From the standpoint of efficacy and patient well-being, then, this study supports the necessity of DOTS-Plus treatment. In purely economic terms, the cost of US$200–US$250 per DALY gained is cost-effective in comparison with other healthcare interventions. Specifically, because the gross national income per person in the Philippines is US$1,080, someone who can return to work following MDR-TB treatment costing US$250 per year gained of working life will provide work that is worth four times more, on average, than the cost of the treatment.
Although this study provides encouraging confirmation that DOTS-Plus programmes can be effective and cost-effective in a resource-limited setting, these findings are subject to several limitations. First, the data used to estimate treatment outcomes and the costs associated with chronic MDR-TB when DOTS-Plus treatment is not available were limited. Also, the pilot project in this study included only 118 of 171 eligible patients, leaving open the possibility that the other 53 patients might have had different outcomes. In addition, the long-term relapse rate in the treated patients is unknown. Finally, the conclusion that one model programme is effective does not mean that other programmes will do well under less favourable circumstances. Nonetheless, as MDR-TB continues to spread in the developing world, a good example is good news. A Perspective by Paul Garner and colleagues in this issue of PLoS Medicine (DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0030350) discusses the study further.
Additional Information. 
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
Basic information about tuberculosis can be found on the Web site of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
The Web site of the World Health Organization's Stop TB department outlines both the DOTS and DOTS-Plus strategies
TB Alert, a UK-based charity that promotes TB awareness worldwide, has information on TB in several European, African, and Asian languages
PMCID: PMC1564168  PMID: 16968123
12.  Evolution of Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis over Four Decades: Whole Genome Sequencing and Dating Analysis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Isolates from KwaZulu-Natal 
PLoS Medicine  2015;12(9):e1001880.
The continued advance of antibiotic resistance threatens the treatment and control of many infectious diseases. This is exemplified by the largest global outbreak of extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis (TB) identified in Tugela Ferry, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, in 2005 that continues today. It is unclear whether the emergence of XDR-TB in KwaZulu-Natal was due to recent inadequacies in TB control in conjunction with HIV or other factors. Understanding the origins of drug resistance in this fatal outbreak of XDR will inform the control and prevention of drug-resistant TB in other settings. In this study, we used whole genome sequencing and dating analysis to determine if XDR-TB had emerged recently or had ancient antecedents.
Methods and Findings
We performed whole genome sequencing and drug susceptibility testing on 337 clinical isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis collected in KwaZulu-Natal from 2008 to 2013, in addition to three historical isolates, collected from patients in the same province and including an isolate from the 2005 Tugela Ferry XDR outbreak, a multidrug-resistant (MDR) isolate from 1994, and a pansusceptible isolate from 1995. We utilized an array of whole genome comparative techniques to assess the relatedness among strains, to establish the order of acquisition of drug resistance mutations, including the timing of acquisitions leading to XDR-TB in the LAM4 spoligotype, and to calculate the number of independent evolutionary emergences of MDR and XDR. Our sequencing and analysis revealed a 50-member clone of XDR M. tuberculosis that was highly related to the Tugela Ferry XDR outbreak strain. We estimated that mutations conferring isoniazid and streptomycin resistance in this clone were acquired 50 y prior to the Tugela Ferry outbreak (katG S315T [isoniazid]; gidB 130 bp deletion [streptomycin]; 1957 [95% highest posterior density (HPD): 1937–1971]), with the subsequent emergence of MDR and XDR occurring 20 y (rpoB L452P [rifampicin]; pncA 1 bp insertion [pyrazinamide]; 1984 [95% HPD: 1974–1992]) and 10 y (rpoB D435G [rifampicin]; rrs 1400 [kanamycin]; gyrA A90V [ofloxacin]; 1995 [95% HPD: 1988–1999]) prior to the outbreak, respectively. We observed frequent de novo evolution of MDR and XDR, with 56 and nine independent evolutionary events, respectively. Isoniazid resistance evolved before rifampicin resistance 46 times, whereas rifampicin resistance evolved prior to isoniazid only twice. We identified additional putative compensatory mutations to rifampicin in this dataset. One major limitation of this study is that the conclusions with respect to ordering and timing of acquisition of mutations may not represent universal patterns of drug resistance emergence in other areas of the globe.
In the first whole genome-based analysis of the emergence of drug resistance among clinical isolates of M. tuberculosis, we show that the ancestral precursor of the LAM4 XDR outbreak strain in Tugela Ferry gained mutations to first-line drugs at the beginning of the antibiotic era. Subsequent accumulation of stepwise resistance mutations, occurring over decades and prior to the explosion of HIV in this region, yielded MDR and XDR, permitting the emergence of compensatory mutations. Our results suggest that drug-resistant strains circulating today reflect not only vulnerabilities of current TB control efforts but also those that date back 50 y. In drug-resistant TB, isoniazid resistance was overwhelmingly the initial resistance mutation to be acquired, which would not be detected by current rapid molecular diagnostics employed in South Africa that assess only rifampicin resistance.
Editors' Summary
Tuberculosis (TB)—a contagious bacterial disease that usually infects the lungs—is a global public health problem. Every year, about 9 million people develop active TB disease, and 1.5 million people die from the disease. Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the organism that causes TB, is spread in airborne droplets when people with TB cough. The symptoms of TB include cough, weight loss, and fever. Diagnostic tests for the disease include sputum smear microscopy (microscopic analysis of mucus coughed up from the lungs) and chest X-rays. TB can be cured by taking a regimen of multiple antibiotics daily for 6 mo. However, the emergence of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB, TB with resistance to both isoniazid and rifampicin) and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB, MDR-TB with additional resistance to both quinolones and second-line injectable agents), together with the spread of HIV (which increases susceptibility to TB), is now threatening TB control efforts. MDR-TB is caused by M. tuberculosis strains that have acquired mutations (genetic changes) that make them resistant to isoniazid, rifampicin, and sometimes other anti-TB drugs; XDR-TB is caused by bacteria that are resistant to isoniazid, rifampicin, one or more fluoroquinolones (for example, ofloxacin), and at least one injectable second-line drug (for example, kanamycin).
Why Was This Study Done?
A better understanding of the origins of drug-resistant TB is essential for effective control of TB. Public health experts need to know whether the emergence of drug-resistant TB is caused by inadequacies in TB control or related to other factors such as the spread of HIV and whether new resistant strains of M. tuberculosis repeatedly emerge during XDR-TB outbreaks or whether the transmission of a single drug-resistant strain drives these outbreaks. Here, the researchers use whole genome sequencing and dating analysis to investigate the origin and evolution of an XDR-TB outbreak identified in 2005 in Tugela Ferry, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The predominant strain of XDR M. tuberculosis isolated during this large XDR-TB outbreak belongs to a subfamily called LAM4. Since the outbreak began, XDR-TB has also been reported in hospitals across KwaZulu-Natal, and some of these outbreaks have been caused by bacterial strains not falling within the LAM4 spoligotype (“spoligotyping” characterizes M. tuberculosis strains based on the presence of unique DNA sequences in a specific region of the bacterial genome).
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers tested the antibiotic susceptibility of 337 clinical isolates of M. tuberculosis collected in KwaZulu-Natal between 2008 and 2013 and of three historical isolates—two collected in the province in the mid-1990s and a third from the Tugela Ferry XDR outbreak. They sequenced the whole genome of these isolates and used comparative techniques to assess the isolates’ relatedness and to investigate the acquisition of drug resistance. This analysis revealed a 50-member clone of XDR bacteria among the isolates collected across KwaZulu-Natal that was highly related to the LAM4 strain (a clone is defined here as a set of strains in which each member differs by no more than ten single nucleotide polymorphisms [SNPs] from at least one other member; an SNP is a type of genetic variant). Mutations that conferred isoniazid resistance in this clone were acquired in about 1957; MDR and XDR strains emerged in about 1984 and 1995, respectively. The analysis also indicates that MDR and XDR evolved de novo 56 times and nine times, respectively, and that isoniazid resistance nearly always evolved before rifampicin resistance.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings provide new information about the ordering and timing of the acquisition of drug-resistance mutations by M. tuberculosis in KwaZulu-Natal but do not necessarily represent the evolution of XDR-TB in other settings. Most notably, these findings indicate that the ancestral precursor of the Tugela Ferry XDR outbreak strain gained resistance to first-line antibiotics shortly after these antibiotics became available for clinical use. Subsequent stepwise accumulation of additional resistance mutations that occurred over decades led to the emergence of MDR and XDR strains. Importantly, the emergence of these strains occurred before the explosion of HIV in KwaZulu-Natal. Thus, these findings highlight the dire repercussions of the failure of historic attempts to control resistance to first-line anti-TB drugs and draw attention to the need for new anti-TB drugs to be used prudently to prevent early fixation of resistance and to protect the useful lifespan of these agents. Finally, the finding that isoniazid resistance is a key initiation event for progression to MDR and XDR suggests that TB control programs should test routinely for both isoniazid and rifampicin resistance to ensure early detection of drug-resistant TB.
Additional Information
This list of resources contains links that can be accessed when viewing the PDF on a device or via the online version of the article at
The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information (in several languages) on TB and on MDR-TB; the Global Tuberculosis Report 2014 provides information about TB around the world; a supplement to the report entitled “Drug-Resistant TB—Surveillance and Response” is available
The Stop TB Partnership is working towards TB elimination and provides personal stories about TB (in English and Spanish)
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information about TB and about drug-resistant TB (in English and Spanish)
The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases also has detailed information on TB, including a drug-resistant TB visual tour
TB & Me, a collaborative blogging project run by patients being treated for MDR-TB and Mèdecins sans Frontiéres, provides more patient stories
The not-for-profit organization Global Health Education provides information about TB in South Africa
MedlinePlus has links to further information about TB (in English and Spanish)
PMCID: PMC4587932  PMID: 26418737
13.  Colonisation with ESBL-producing and carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae, vancomycin-resistant enterococci, and meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in a long-term care facility over one year 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2015;15:168.
This study examined colonisation with and characteristics of antimicrobial-resistant organisms among residents of a long-term care facility (LTCF) over one year, including strain persistence and molecular diversity among isolates of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Enterobacteriaceae.
Sixty-four residents of a LTCF were recruited (51 at baseline, 13 during the year). Data on dependency levels, hospitalisations, and antimicrobial prescribing were collected. Nasal and rectal swabs and catheter urine specimens were examined quarterly, using chromogenic agars, for ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae, carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), and meticillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). All ESBL-producing E. coli (ESBL-EC) were characterised by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and PCR to assess for sequence type (ST) ST131, its resistance-associated H30 and H30-Rx subclones, and blaCTX-M,blaTEM,blaSHV, and blaOXA-1.
The overall number of residents colonised, by organism, was as follows: ESBL-EC, 35 (55%); MRSA, 17 (27%); ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae (ESBL-KP), 5 (8%); VRE, 2 (3%) and CPE, 0 (0%). All 98 ESBL-EC isolates were H30-Rx ST131, with blaCTX-M-group 1. By PFGE, a group of 91 ESBL-EC (from 33 participants) had ≥ 85% similar profiles and resembled UK epidemic strain A/ international pulsotype PFGE812. Sequential ESBL-EC from individual residents were closely related. Six ESBL-KP isolates, from five participants, had blaCTX-M-group 1 and by PFGE were closely related. Colonisation with ESBL and MRSA was associated with location within the LTCF and previous exposure to antimicrobials.
Among LTCF residents, colonisation with ESBL-EC and MRSA was common. All ESBL-EC were H30-Rx ST131, consistent with clonal dissemination.
PMCID: PMC4399485  PMID: 25887288
Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL); Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE); Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE); Meticillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA); Long-term care facilities
14.  Multidrug resistance pattern of bacterial agents isolated from patient with chronic sinusitis 
Treatment of chronic sinusitis is complicated due to increase of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The aim of this study was to determine the multidrug resistance (MDR) pattern of the bacteria causing chronic sinusitis in north of Iran.
This cross-sectional study was carried out on patients with chronic sinusitis. Bacterial susceptibility to antimicrobial agents was determined according to the CLSI 2013 standards. Double-disk synergy (DDS) test was performed for the detection of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) producing bacteria; also methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus (MRSA) strains were identified by MRSA screen agar. The MDR isolates were defined as resistant to 3 or more antibiotics. Data were analyzed using SPSS 17 software. Descriptive statistics was used to describe the features of the data in this study.
The rate of ESBL-producing bacteria was 28.75-37.03% among enterobacteriaceae and the rate of MRSA was 42.75%-60% among Staphylococcus strains. The most detectable rate of the MDR bacterial isolates was Gram-negative bacteria 39 (76.47%) and Enterobacter spp. 19(70.37%) was the most multidrug resistant isolate among Gram negative bacteria. Also 36 (73.46%) of the gram positive bacterial isolated were multidrug resistance and Staphylococcus aureus 9(90%) was the most MDR among Gram positive bacteria.
Antimicrobial resistance is increasing in chronic bacterial sinusitis. The emergence of MRSA and ESBL bacteria causing chronic sinusitis is increasing.
PMCID: PMC4913714  PMID: 27386063
Chronic sinusitis; Bacteria; Antibiotic resistance; MRSA; ESBL; MDR
15.  Universal Glove and Gown Use and Acquisition of Antibiotic resistant bacteria in the ICU: A Randomized Trial 
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are associated with increased patient morbidity and mortality. It is unknown whether wearing gloves and gowns for all patient contact in the intensive care unit (ICU) decreases acquisition of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
To assess whether wearing gloves and gowns for all patient contact in the ICU decreases acquisition of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) compared with usual care.
Design, Setting, and Participants
Cluster-randomized trial in 20 medical and surgical ICUs in 20 US hospitals from January 4, 2012, to October 4, 2012.
In the intervention ICUs, all health care workers were required to wear gloves and gowns for all patient contact and when entering any patient room.
Main Outcomes and Measures
The primary outcome was acquisition of MRSA or VRE based on surveillance cultures collected on admission and discharge from the ICU. Secondary outcomes included individual VRE acquisition, MRSA acquisition, frequency of health care worker visits, hand hygiene compliance, health care–associated infections, and adverse events.
From the 26 180 patients included, 92 241 swabs were collected for the primary outcome. Intervention ICUs had a decrease in the primary outcome of MRSA or VRE from 21.35 acquisitions per 1000 patient-days (95% CI, 17.57 to 25.94) in the baseline period to 16.91 acquisitions per 1000 patient-days (95% CI, 14.09 to 20.28) in the study period, whereas control ICUs had a decrease in MRSA or VRE from 19.02 acquisitions per 1000 patient-days (95% CI, 14.20 to 25.49) in the baseline period to 16.29 acquisitions per 1000 patient-days (95% CI, 13.48 to 19.68) in the study period, a difference in changes that was not statistically significant (difference, −1.71 acquisitions per 1000 person-days, 95% CI, −6.15 to 2.73; P = .57). For key secondary outcomes, there was no difference in VRE acquisition with the intervention (difference, 0.89 acquisitions per 1000 person-days; 95% CI, −4.27 to 6.04, P = .70), whereas for MRSA, there were fewer acquisitions with the intervention (difference, −2.98 acquisitions per 1000 person-days; 95% CI, −5.58 to −0.38; P = .046). Universal glove and gown use also decreased health care worker room entry (4.28 vs 5.24 entries per hour, difference, −0.96; 95% CI, −1.71 to −0.21, P = .02), increased room-exit hand hygiene compliance (78.3% vs 62.9%, difference, 15.4%; 95% CI, 8.99% to 21.8%; P = .02) and had no statistically significant effect on rates of adverse events (58.7 events per 1000 patient days vs 74.4 events per 1000 patient days; difference, −15.7; 95% CI, −40.7 to 9.2, P = .24).
Conclusions and Relevance
The use of gloves and gowns for all patient contact compared with usual care among patients in medical and surgical ICUs did not result in a difference in the primary outcome of acquisition of MRSA or VRE. Although there was a lower risk of MRSA acquisition alone and no difference in adverse events, these secondary outcomes require replication before reaching definitive conclusions.
PMCID: PMC4026208  PMID: 24097234
16.  Prevalence of multiresistant gram-negative organisms in a tertiary hospital in Mwanza, Tanzania 
BMC Research Notes  2009;2:49.
Antimicrobial resistance is fast becoming a global concern with rapid increases in multidrug-resistant Gram negative organisms. The prevalence of extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing clinical isolates increases the burden on implementing infectious disease management in low socio-economic regions. As incidence can vary widely between regions, this study was done to determine resistance patterns of Gram-negative organisms at Bugando Medical Center, a tertiary hospital in Mwanza, Tanzania.
A total of 800 clinical samples (urine, wound swab, pus, blood, aspirate, sputum etc) were processed over a period of 6 months. Gram-negative bacteria were identified using conventional in-house biochemical tests and susceptibility to common antibiotics done using disc diffusion methods. The disc approximation method was used to identify ESBL producers.
A total of 377 Gram-negative bacteria (GNB) recovered from 377 clinical specimens were analyzed of which 76.9% were Enterobacteriaceae. Among all GNB, 110/377 (29.2%) were found to be ESBL producers. Species specific ESBLs rate among Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, Acinetobacter spp, Proteus spp and other enterobacteria were 63.7%, 24.4%, 17.7%, 6.4% and 27.9% respectively. A statistically significant higher number of inpatients 100/283 (35.3%) compared to 10/94 (10.6%) of outpatients had ESBL-producing organisms (p = 0.000023). Rates of resistances to gentamicin, tetracycline, sulphamethaxazole/trimethoprim and ciprofloxacin were significantly higher among ESBLs isolates than non-ESBL isolates (p = 0.000001).
ESBL producing organisms are common at BMC (Bugando Medical Center) and pose a challenge to antibiotic therapy. Successful implementation of a routine detection of ESBL production is essential in designing appropriate antibiotic prescribing policies and infection control intervention programmes.
PMCID: PMC2667529  PMID: 19323805
17.  MRJP1-containing glycoproteins isolated from honey, a novel antibacterial drug candidate with broad spectrum activity against multi-drug resistant clinical isolates 
The emergence of extended- spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) is the underlying cause of growing antibiotic resistance among Gram-negative bacteria to β-lactam antibiotics. We recently reported the discovery of honey glycoproteins (glps) that exhibited a rapid, concentration-dependent antibacterial activity against both Gram-positive Bacillus subtilis and Gram-negative Escherichia coli that resembled action of cell wall-active β-lactam drugs. Glps showed sequence identity with the Major Royal Jelly Protein 1 (MRJP1) precursor that harbors three antimicrobial peptides: Jelleins 1, 2, and 4. Here, we used semi-quantitative radial diffusion assay and broth microdilution assay to evaluate susceptibility of a number of multi-drug resistant (MDR) clinical isolates to the MRJP1-contaning honey glycoproteins. The MDR bacterial strains comprised three methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), four Pseudomonas aeruginosa, two Klebsiella pneumoniae, two vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE), and five ESBL identified as one Proteus mirabilis, three E. coli, and one E. coli NDM. Their resistance to different classes of antibiotics was confirmed using automated system Vitek 2. MDR isolates differed in their susceptibility to glps with MIC90 values ranging from 4.8 μg/ml against B. subtilis to 14.4 μg/ml against ESBL K. pneumoniae, Klebsiella spp. ESBL and E. coli and up to 33 μg/ml against highly resistant strains of P. aeruginosa. Glps isolated from different honeys showed a similar ability to overcome bacterial resistance to β-lactams suggesting that (a) their mode of action is distinct from other classes of β-lactams and that (b) the common glps structure was the lead structure responsible for the activity. The results of the current study together with our previous evidence of a rapid bactericidal activity of glps demonstrate that glps possess suitable characteristics to be considered a novel antibacterial drug candidate.
PMCID: PMC4499756  PMID: 26217333
multi-drug resistant; ESBL; clinical isolates; novel antibacterials; honey glycoproteins; Major Royal Jelly Protein
18.  Evidence for Community Transmission of Community-Associated but Not Health-Care-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Strains Linked to Social and Material Deprivation: Spatial Analysis of Cross-sectional Data 
PLoS Medicine  2016;13(1):e1001944.
Identifying and tackling the social determinants of infectious diseases has become a public health priority following the recognition that individuals with lower socioeconomic status are disproportionately affected by infectious diseases. In many parts of the world, epidemiologically and genotypically defined community-associated (CA) methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains have emerged to become frequent causes of hospital infection. The aim of this study was to use spatial models with adjustment for area-level hospital attendance to determine the transmission niche of genotypically defined CA- and health-care-associated (HA)-MRSA strains across a diverse region of South East London and to explore a potential link between MRSA carriage and markers of social and material deprivation.
Methods and Findings
This study involved spatial analysis of cross-sectional data linked with all MRSA isolates identified by three National Health Service (NHS) microbiology laboratories between 1 November 2011 and 29 February 2012. The cohort of hospital-based NHS microbiology diagnostic services serves 867,254 usual residents in the Lambeth, Southwark, and Lewisham boroughs in South East London, United Kingdom (UK). Isolates were classified as HA- or CA-MRSA based on whole genome sequencing. All MRSA cases identified over 4 mo within the three-borough catchment area (n = 471) were mapped to small geographies and linked to area-level aggregated socioeconomic and demographic data. Disease mapping and ecological regression models were used to infer the most likely transmission niches for each MRSA genetic classification and to describe the spatial epidemiology of MRSA in relation to social determinants. Specifically, we aimed to identify demographic and socioeconomic population traits that explain cross-area extra variation in HA- and CA-MRSA relative risks following adjustment for hospital attendance data. We explored the potential for associations with the English Indices of Deprivation 2010 (including the Index of Multiple Deprivation and several deprivation domains and subdomains) and the 2011 England and Wales census demographic and socioeconomic indicators (including numbers of households by deprivation dimension) and indicators of population health. Both CA-and HA-MRSA were associated with household deprivation (CA-MRSA relative risk [RR]: 1.72 [1.03–2.94]; HA-MRSA RR: 1.57 [1.06–2.33]), which was correlated with hospital attendance (Pearson correlation coefficient [PCC] = 0.76). HA-MRSA was also associated with poor health (RR: 1.10 [1.01–1.19]) and residence in communal care homes (RR: 1.24 [1.12–1.37]), whereas CA-MRSA was linked with household overcrowding (RR: 1.58 [1.04–2.41]) and wider barriers, which represent a combined score for household overcrowding, low income, and homelessness (RR: 1.76 [1.16–2.70]). CA-MRSA was also associated with recent immigration to the UK (RR: 1.77 [1.19–2.66]). For the area-level variation in RR for CA-MRSA, 28.67% was attributable to the spatial arrangement of target geographies, compared with only 0.09% for HA-MRSA. An advantage to our study is that it provided a representative sample of usual residents receiving care in the catchment areas. A limitation is that relationships apparent in aggregated data analyses cannot be assumed to operate at the individual level.
There was no evidence of community transmission of HA-MRSA strains, implying that HA-MRSA cases identified in the community originate from the hospital reservoir and are maintained by frequent attendance at health care facilities. In contrast, there was a high risk of CA-MRSA in deprived areas linked with overcrowding, homelessness, low income, and recent immigration to the UK, which was not explainable by health care exposure. Furthermore, areas adjacent to these deprived areas were themselves at greater risk of CA-MRSA, indicating community transmission of CA-MRSA. This ongoing community transmission could lead to CA-MRSA becoming the dominant strain types carried by patients admitted to hospital, particularly if successful hospital-based MRSA infection control programmes are maintained. These results suggest that community infection control programmes targeting transmission of CA-MRSA will be required to control MRSA in both the community and hospital. These epidemiological changes will also have implications for effectiveness of risk-factor-based hospital admission MRSA screening programmes.
Community associated MRSA variants, rather than hospital associated ones, are more readily transmitted and this is where control programs should focus to limit both hospital and community infections.
Editors' Summary
Addressing health inequality requires understanding the social determinants of poor health. Previous studies have suggested a link between deprived living conditions and infections with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), that is, strains of the common bacterium S. aureus that have acquired antibiotic resistance and are therefore more difficult to treat. MRSA was first identified in the 1960s and for years thought of as a dangerous health-care-associated (HA-) pathogen that infects hospital patients who are predominantly older, sick, or undergoing invasive procedures. In the late 1990s, however, community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) emerged as pathogen infecting healthy individuals of all ages and without recent hospital contact. Most CA-MRSA cases are contagious skin infections, and numerous outbreaks have been reported in different communities. The traditional distinction between HA-MRSA and CA-MRSA based on where transmission occurred has become problematic in recent years, because CA-MRSA transmission has also been reported in health care settings. However, as HA- and CA-MRSA strains are genetically distinct, cases can be classified by DNA sequencing regardless of where a patient got infected.
Why Was This Study Done?
With hospitals historically considered the only place of MRSA transmission, prevention efforts remain focused on health care settings. Given the changing patterns of MRSA infections, however, the need to consider HA and CA transmission settings together has been recognized. This study was designed to take a closer look at the relationship between both HA- and CA-MRSA and socioeconomic deprivation, with the ultimate aim to inform prevention efforts. The researchers selected three boroughs in South East London with a highly diverse population of approximately 850,000 residents for whom socioeconomic and demographic data were available at a high level of spatial resolution. They also had data on hospital attendance for the residents and were therefore able to account for this factor in their analysis. The study addressed the following questions: is there a link between socioeconomic deprivation and both HA- and CA-MRSA cases among the residents? What social determinants are associated with HA- and CA-MRSA cases? What are the transmission settings (i.e., community versus health care) for HA- and CA-MRSA?
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
They analyzed data on all MRSA samples collected over 4 consecutive mo in late 2011 and early 2012 by microbiology laboratories that serve the three boroughs. Of 471 MRSA cases that occurred in residents, 392 could be classified based on genome sequencing. Of these, approximately 72% were HA-MRSA, and 26% were CA-MRSA. Approximately 2% of residents carried both HA- and CA-MRSA. All MRSA cases were mapped to 513 smaller areas (called Lower Layer Super Output Areas, or LSOAs) in the three boroughs for which extensive socioeconomic and demographic data existed. The former included data on income, employment, health, and education, the latter data on number individuals per household, their ages and gender, and length of residence in the UK. MRSA cases were detected in just over half of the LSOAs in the study area. The researchers then used mathematical models to determine the most likely transmission settings for each MRSA genetic classification. They also described the spatial distributions of the two in relation to socioeconomic and demographic determinants. Both CA-and HA-MRSA were associated with household deprivation, which was itself correlated with hospital attendance. HA-MRSA was also associated with poor health and with living in communal care homes, whereas CA-MRSA was linked with household overcrowding and a combination of household overcrowding, low income, and homelessness. CA-MRSA was also associated with recent immigration to the UK. Around 27% of local variation in CA-MRSA could be explained by the spatial arrangement of LSOAs, meaning areas of high risk tended to cluster. No such clustering was observed for HA-MRSA.
What Do these Findings Mean?
The results show that residents in the most deprived areas are at greater risk for MRSA. The absence of spatial clusters of HA-MRSA suggests that transmission of genetically determined HA-MRSA occurs in hospitals, with little or no transmission in the community. The most important risk factor for acquiring HA-MRSA is therefore likely to be hospital attendance as a result of deprivation. In contrast, genetically determined CA-MRSA both affects deprived areas disproportionately, and—as the clusters imply—spreads from such areas in the community. This suggests that living in deprived conditions itself is a risk factor for acquiring CA-MRSA, as is living near deprived neighbors. Some of the CA-MRSA cases are also likely imported by recent immigrants. Whereas transmission of CA-MRSA in health care settings has been reported in a number of other studies, data from this study cannot answer whether or to what extent this is the case here. However, because of ongoing transmission in the community, and because deprived residents are both more likely to have CA-MRSA and to attend a hospital, importation of CA-MRSA strains into hospitals is an obvious concern. While the researchers intentionally located the study in an area with a very diverse population, it is not clear how generalizable the findings are to other communities, either in the UK or in other countries. Nonetheless, the results justify special focus on deprived populations in the control of MRSA and are useful for the design of specific strategies for HA-MRSA and CA-MRSA.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
Online information on MRSA from the UK National Health Service:
MRSA webpage from the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention:
MRSA page from the San Francisco Department of Public Health:
MedlinePlus provides links to information about MRSA, including sources in languages other than English:
PMCID: PMC4727805  PMID: 26812054
19.  Daptomycin-Resistant Enterococcus faecalis Diverts the Antibiotic Molecule from the Division Septum and Remodels Cell Membrane Phospholipids 
mBio  2013;4(4):e00281-13.
Treatment of multidrug-resistant enterococci has become a challenging clinical problem in hospitals around the world due to the lack of reliable therapeutic options. Daptomycin (DAP), a cell membrane-targeting cationic antimicrobial lipopeptide, is the only antibiotic with in vitro bactericidal activity against vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). However, the clinical use of DAP against VRE is threatened by emergence of resistance during therapy, but the mechanisms leading to DAP resistance are not fully understood. The mechanism of action of DAP involves interactions with the cell membrane in a calcium-dependent manner, mainly at the level of the bacterial septum. Previously, we demonstrated that development of DAP resistance in vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis is associated with mutations in genes encoding proteins with two main functions, (i) control of the cell envelope stress response to antibiotics and antimicrobial peptides (LiaFSR system) and (ii) cell membrane phospholipid metabolism (glycerophosphoryl diester phosphodiesterase and cardiolipin synthase). In this work, we show that these VRE can resist DAP-elicited cell membrane damage by diverting the antibiotic away from its principal target (division septum) to other distinct cell membrane regions. DAP septal diversion by DAP-resistant E. faecalis is mediated by initial redistribution of cell membrane cardiolipin-rich microdomains associated with a single amino acid deletion within the transmembrane protein LiaF (a member of a three-component regulatory system [LiaFSR] involved in cell envelope homeostasis). Full expression of DAP resistance requires additional mutations in enzymes (glycerophosphoryl diester phosphodiesterase and cardiolipin synthase) that alter cell membrane phospholipid content. Our findings describe a novel mechanism of bacterial resistance to cationic antimicrobial peptides.
IMPORTANCE  The emergence of antibiotic resistance in bacterial pathogens is a threat to public health. Understanding the mechanisms of resistance is of crucial importance to develop new strategies to combat multidrug-resistant microorganisms. Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) are one of the most recalcitrant hospital-associated pathogens against which new therapies are urgently needed. Daptomycin (DAP) is a calcium-decorated antimicrobial lipopeptide whose target is the bacterial cell membrane. A current paradigm suggests that Gram-positive bacteria become resistant to cationic antimicrobial peptides via an electrostatic repulsion of the antibiotic molecule from a more positively charged cell surface. In this work, we provide evidence that VRE use a novel strategy to avoid DAP-elicited killing. Instead of “repelling” the antibiotic from the cell surface, VRE diverts the antibiotic molecule from the septum and “traps” it in distinct membrane regions. We provide genetic and biochemical bases responsible for the mechanism of resistance and disclose new targets for potential antimicrobial development.
The emergence of antibiotic resistance in bacterial pathogens is a threat to public health. Understanding the mechanisms of resistance is of crucial importance to develop new strategies to combat multidrug-resistant microorganisms. Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) are one of the most recalcitrant hospital-associated pathogens against which new therapies are urgently needed. Daptomycin (DAP) is a calcium-decorated antimicrobial lipopeptide whose target is the bacterial cell membrane. A current paradigm suggests that Gram-positive bacteria become resistant to cationic antimicrobial peptides via an electrostatic repulsion of the antibiotic molecule from a more positively charged cell surface. In this work, we provide evidence that VRE use a novel strategy to avoid DAP-elicited killing. Instead of “repelling” the antibiotic from the cell surface, VRE diverts the antibiotic molecule from the septum and “traps” it in distinct membrane regions. We provide genetic and biochemical bases responsible for the mechanism of resistance and disclose new targets for potential antimicrobial development.
PMCID: PMC3735187  PMID: 23882013
20.  Multidrug resistant and carbapenemase producing Enterobacteriaceae among patients with urinary tract infection at referral Hospital, Northwest Ethiopia 
Updates on the epidemiology of antibiotic resistance bacterial pathogens is important. This is because the spread of multidrug resistant enterobacteriaceae (MDRE) and recently carbapenemase producing enterobacteriaceae (CPE) have emerged as a major public health concern in patients with urinary tract infections (UTIs). This study is therefore, aimed to assess the prevalence and associated risk factors of MDR and CPE among patients with UTIs.
A cross sectional study was conducted among 442 symptomatic UTI suspected patients. Data on socio-demographic characteristics, clinical information and possible risk factors were collected using structured questionnaire. Early morning mid-stream urine samples were collected and processed to characterize bacterial isolates. Disk diffusion method was used to determine the antibiotic susceptibility patterns of isolates. Carbapenemase producing strains were detected using CHROMagar KPC medium. Data were entered and analyzed using SPSS version 20. P-value <0.05 was considered as statistical significant.
Among 442 patients enrolled a total of 183 Enterobacteriaceae were recovered. Of these isolates; 160 (87.4%) were MDRE; the most common isolates were K. pneumoniae and E.coli. Five (2.73%) of the isolates were found to be carbapenemase producers and all of CPE strains were 100% ESBL producers. Significant drug resistances were observed among CPE compared to other MDRE, low resistance rates were noted to ciprofloxacin (20%). Being female (OR 4.46; P = 0.018), age (OR 1.08; P = 0.001), hospitalization (OR 5.23; P = 0.006), and prior antibiotic use (OR 3.98; P = 0.04) were associated risk factors for MDRE.
Conclusion and recommendation
High rates of MDR (87.4%) were observed among enterobacteriaceae uropathogens; K. pneumoniae and E.coli were the principal MDR isolates. Overall prevalence of CPE was 2.73% and all of these strains were 100% ESBL producer. Attributing risk factors for MDR UTIs were found to be sex (female), age, hospitalization, and history of antibiotic therapy. Therefore, efforts should be made to reduce patient hospital stay and maximize rational use of drugs. Additional and vigorous investigation especially on CPE should be encouraged.
PMCID: PMC4407313  PMID: 25908966
Carbapenemase; Enterobacteriaceae; Multidrug resistant; Urinary tract infection
21.  Ten-year decrease of acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia at a single institution: the result of a multifaceted program combining cross-transmission prevention and antimicrobial stewardship 
In France, the proportion of MRSA has been over 25% since 2000. Prevention of hospital-acquired (HA) MRSA spread is based on isolation precautions and antibiotic stewardship. At our institution, before 2000, the Infection Disease and the Infection Control teams had failed to reduce HA-MRSA rates.
Objectives and methods
We implemented a multifaceted hospital-wide prevention program and measured the effects on HA-MRSA colonization and bacteremia rates between 2000 and 2009. From 2000 to 2003, active screening and decontamination of ICU patients, hospital wide alcohol based hand rubs (ABHR) use, control of specific classes of antibiotics, compliance audits, and feed-backs to the care providers were successively implemented. The efficacy of the program was assessed by HA-MRSA colonized and bacteremic patient rates per 1000 patient-days in patients hospitalized for more than twenty-four hours.
Compliance with the isolation practices increased between 2000 and 2009. Consumption of ABHR increased from 6.8 L to 27.5 L per 1000 patient-days. The use of antibiotic Defined Daily Doses (DDD) per 1000 patient-days decreased by 31%. HA-MRSA colonization decreased by 84% from 1.09 to 0.17 per 1000 patient-days and HA-MRSA bacteremia by 93%, from 0.15 to 0.01 per 1000 patient-days (p < 10−7 for each rate).
In an area highly endemic for MRSA, a multifaceted prevention program allows for sustainable reduction in HA-MRSA bacteremia rates.
PMCID: PMC3508950  PMID: 22958346
MRSA; Bacteremia; Hospital-acquired; Isolation precaution; Alcohol based hand rub; Antibiotic stewardship
22.  Agreement Assessment of Tigecycline Susceptibilities Determined by the Disk Diffusion and Broth Microdilution Methods among Commonly Encountered Resistant Bacterial Isolates: Results from the Tigecycline In Vitro Surveillance in Taiwan (TIST) Study, 2008 to 2010 
The Tigecycline In Vitro Surveillance in Taiwan (TIST) study, initiated in 2006, is a nationwide surveillance program designed to longitudinally monitor the in vitro activity of tigecycline against commonly encountered drug-resistant bacteria. This study compared the in vitro activity of tigecycline against 3,014 isolates of clinically important drug-resistant bacteria using the standard broth microdilution and disk diffusion methods. Species studied included methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA; n = 759), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE; n = 191), extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli (n = 602), ESBL-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (n = 736), and Acinetobacter baumannii (n = 726) that had been collected from patients treated between 2008 and 2010 at 20 hospitals in Taiwan. MICs and inhibition zone diameters were interpreted according to the currently recommended U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) criteria and the European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST) criteria. The MIC90 values of tigecycline against MRSA, VRE, ESBL-producing E. coli, ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae, and A. baumannii were 0.5, 0.125, 0.5, 2, and 8 μg/ml, respectively. The total error rates between the two methods using the FDA criteria were high: 38.4% for ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae and 33.8% for A. baumannii. Using the EUCAST criteria, the total error rate was also high (54.6%) for A. baumannii isolates. The total error rates between these two methods were <5% for MRSA, VRE, and ESBL-producing E. coli. For routine susceptibility testing of ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae and A. baumannii against tigecycline, the broth microdilution method should be used because of the poor correlation of results between these two methods.
PMCID: PMC3294924  PMID: 22155819
23.  Epidemiology of Multidrug-Resistant Microorganisms among Nursing Home Residents in Belgium 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e64908.
A national survey was conducted to determine the prevalence and risk factors of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), extended-spectrum β-lactamases-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBLE) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) among nursing home residents in Belgium.
A random stratified, national prevalence survey was conducted in nursing home residents who were screened for carriage of ESBLE, MRSA and VRE by multisite enriched culture. Characteristics of nursing homes and residents were collected by a questionnaire survey and were analysed by multilevel logistic regression analysis.
Of 2791 screened residents in 60 participating nursing home, the weighted prevalence of ESBLE and MRSA carriage were 6.2% (range: 0 to 20%) and 12.2% (range: 0 to 36%), respectively. No cases of VRE were found. No relationship was found between ESBLE and MRSA prevalence rates within nursing homes and the rate of co-colonization was very low (0.8%). Geographical variations in prevalence of MRSA and ESBLE and in distribution of ESBL types in nursing home residents paralleled that of acute hospitals. Risk factors of ESBLE carriage included previously known ESBLE carriage, male gender, a low level of mobility and previous antibiotic exposure. Risk factors for MRSA colonization were: previously known MRSA carriage, skin lesions, a low functional status and antacid use.
A low prevalence of ESBLE carriage was found in nursing home residents in Belgium. The prevalence of MRSA carriage decreased substantially in comparison to a similar survey conducted in 2005. A low functional status appeared as a common factor for ESBLE and MRSA carriage. Previous exposure to antibiotics was a strong predictor of ESBLE colonization while increased clustering of MRSA carriage suggested the importance of cross-transmission within nursing homes for this organism. These results emphasize the need for global coordination of the surveillance of MDRO within and between nursing homes and hospitals.
PMCID: PMC3667831  PMID: 23738011
24.  Geographic Distribution of Staphylococcus aureus Causing Invasive Infections in Europe: A Molecular-Epidemiological Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(1):e1000215.
Hajo Grundmann and colleagues describe the development of a new interactive mapping tool for analyzing the spatial distribution of invasive Staphylococcus aureus clones.
Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most important human pathogens and methicillin-resistant variants (MRSAs) are a major cause of hospital and community-acquired infection. We aimed to map the geographic distribution of the dominant clones that cause invasive infections in Europe.
Methods and Findings
In each country, staphylococcal reference laboratories secured the participation of a sufficient number of hospital laboratories to achieve national geo-demographic representation. Participating laboratories collected successive methicillin-susceptible (MSSA) and MRSA isolates from patients with invasive S. aureus infection using an agreed protocol. All isolates were sent to the respective national reference laboratories and characterised by quality-controlled sequence typing of the variable region of the staphylococcal spa gene (spa typing), and data were uploaded to a central database. Relevant genetic and phenotypic information was assembled for interactive interrogation by a purpose-built Web-based mapping application. Between September 2006 and February 2007, 357 laboratories serving 450 hospitals in 26 countries collected 2,890 MSSA and MRSA isolates from patients with invasive S. aureus infection. A wide geographical distribution of spa types was found with some prevalent in all European countries. MSSA were more diverse than MRSA. Genetic diversity of MRSA differed considerably between countries with dominant MRSA spa types forming distinctive geographical clusters. We provide evidence that a network approach consisting of decentralised typing and visualisation of aggregated data using an interactive mapping tool can provide important information on the dynamics of MRSA populations such as early signalling of emerging strains, cross border spread, and importation by travel.
In contrast to MSSA, MRSA spa types have a predominantly regional distribution in Europe. This finding is indicative of the selection and spread of a limited number of clones within health care networks, suggesting that control efforts aimed at interrupting the spread within and between health care institutions may not only be feasible but ultimately successful and should therefore be strongly encouraged.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
The bacterium Staphylococcus aureus lives on the skin and in the nose of about a third of healthy people. Although S. aureus usually coexists peacefully with its human carriers, it is also an important disease-causing organism or pathogen. If it enters the body through a cut or during a surgical procedure, S. aureus can cause minor infections such as pimples and boils or more serious, life-threatening infections such as blood poisoning and pneumonia. Minor S. aureus infections can be treated without antibiotics—by draining a boil, for example. Invasive infections are usually treated with antibiotics. Unfortunately, many of the S. aureus clones (groups of bacteria that are all genetically related and descended from a single, common ancestor) that are now circulating are resistant to methicillin and several other antibiotics. Invasive methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) infections are a particular problem in hospitals and other health care facilities (so-called hospital-acquired MRSA infections), but they can also occur in otherwise healthy people who have not been admitted to a hospital (community-acquired MRSA infections).
Why Was This Study Done?
The severity and outcome of an S. aureus infection in an individual depends in part on the ability of the bacterial clone with which the individual is infected to cause disease—the clone's “virulence.” Public-health officials and infectious disease experts would like to know the geographic distribution of the virulent S. aureus clones that cause invasive infections, because this information should help them understand how these pathogens spread and thus how to control them. Different clones of S. aureus can be distinguished by “molecular typing,” the determination of clone-specific sequences of nucleotides in variable regions of the bacterial genome (the bacterium's blueprint; genomes consist of DNA, long chains of nucleotides). In this study, the researchers use molecular typing to map the geographic distribution of MRSA and methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) clones causing invasive infections in Europe; a MRSA clone emerges when an MSSA clone acquires antibiotic resistance from another type of bacteria so it is useful to understand the geographic distribution of both MRSA and MSSA.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Between September 2006 and February 2007, 357 laboratories serving 450 hospitals in 26 European countries collected almost 3,000 MRSA and MSSA isolates from patients with invasive S. aureus infections. The isolates were sent to the relevant national staphylococcal reference laboratory (SRL) where they were characterized by quality-controlled sequence typing of the variable region of a staphylococcal gene called spa (spa typing). The spa typing data were entered into a central database and then analyzed by a public, purpose-built Web-based mapping tool (SRL-Maps), which provides interactive access and easy-to-understand illustrations of the geographical distribution of S. aureus clones. Using this mapping tool, the researchers found that there was a wide geographical distribution of spa types across Europe with some types being common in all European countries. MSSA isolates were more diverse than MRSA isolates and the genetic diversity (variability) of MRSA differed considerably between countries. Most importantly, major MRSA spa types occurred in distinct geographical clusters.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings provide the first representative snapshot of the genetic population structure of S. aureus across Europe. Because the researchers used spa typing, which analyzes only a small region of one gene, and characterized only 3,000 isolates, analysis of other parts of the S. aureus genome in more isolates is now needed to build a complete portrait of the geographical abundance of the S. aureus clones that cause invasive infections in Europe. However, the finding that MRSA spa types occur mainly in geographical clusters has important implications for the control of MRSA, because it indicates that a limited number of clones are spreading within health care networks, which means that MRSA is mainly spread by patients who are repeatedly admitted to different hospitals. Control efforts aimed at interrupting this spread within and between health care institutions may be feasible and ultimately successful, suggest the researchers, and should be strongly encouraged. In addition, this study shows how, by sharing typing results on a Web-based platform, an international surveillance network can provide clinicians and infection control teams with crucial information about the dynamics of pathogens such as S. aureus, including early warnings about emerging virulent clones.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Franklin D. Lowy
The UK Health Protection Agency provides information about Staphylococcus aureus
The UK National Health Service Choices Web site has pages on staphylococcal infections and on MRSA
The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease has information about MRSA
The US Centers for Disease Control and Infection provides information about MRSA for the public and professionals
MedlinePlus provides links to further resources on staphylococcal infections and on MRSA (in English and Spanish)
SRL-Maps can be freely accessed
PMCID: PMC2796391  PMID: 20084094
25.  Antibacterial Efficacy Testing of a Bioelectric Wound Dressing Against Clinical Wound Pathogens 
Silver-based wound dressings have been developed for the control of bioburden in wounds. However, the popularity and extensive use of silver-based dressings has been associated with emerging microbial resistances to silver. In this study we examined in vitro antibacterial efficacy of a bioelectric dressing containing silver and zinc against various wound pathogens. Antibiotic-sensitive clinical wound isolates showed a 100% reduction in bacterial growth, except that Enterococcus faecalis isolate was shown to survive with a bacterial log10 reduction rate of less than 102 CFU. We also investigated antibacterial efficacy against the extended spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) bacteria, multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The bioelectric dressing was effective in killing wound pathogens including ESBL, MDR, and MRSA in vitro. Furthermore, based on the primary results against E. faecalis, we carried out extensive studies against several nosocomial Enterococcus species including vancomycin-resistant species. Overall, the vancomycin-sensitive or -resistant Enterococcus species were resistant to this dressing at up to 48 h, except for the vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus raffinosus isolate only showing a 100% bacterial reduction at 48 h, but not at 24 h. The results demonstrated the effective bactericidal activity of a bioelectric dressing against antibiotic-sensitive and MDR strains, but Enterococcus species are bacteriostatic.
PMCID: PMC3950956  PMID: 24627730
Antibacterial efficacy testing; bioelectric dressing; clinical wound isolates.

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