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1.  Antimicrobial susceptibilities of Proteus mirabilis: a longitudinal nationwide study from the Taiwan surveillance of antimicrobial resistance (TSAR) program 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2014;14(1):486.
Longitudinal nationwide data on antimicrobial susceptibility in Proteus mirabilis from different sources are rare. The effects of the revised Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) β-lactam breakpoints on susceptibility rates and on detecting extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) and AmpC β-lactamase-producers in this species are also seldom evaluated. The present study analyzed data from the Taiwan Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance program to address these issues.
Isolates were collected biennially between 2002 and 2012 from 25 to 28 hospitals in Taiwan. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) were determined by reference broth microdilution method. All isolates with aztreonam, ceftazidime, or cefotaxime MIC ≥ 2 mg/L were checked for the presence of ESBL by CLSI confirmatory test and subjected to ESBL and AmpC β-lactamases gene detection by PCR. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed.
Between 2002 and 2012, a total of 1157 P. mirabilis were studied. Susceptibility to cefotaxime, ceftazidime, and ciprofloxacin decreased significantly during the past decade, from 92.6% to 81.7%, 100% to 95.2%, and 80.1% to 53.8%, respectively (P < 0.01). The revised CLSI breakpoints had significant impact on susceptibility to cefazolin (2009 vs. current breakpoints, 71.9% vs. 0.9%) and imipenem (99.8% vs. 55.1%) (P < 0.001 for both). However, using the 2014 cefazolin breakpoints for urinary tract infections, 81.2% of the urine isolates were susceptible. Susceptibilities of isolates from different specimen types were mostly similar but outpatient isolates were more susceptible than inpatient isolates. The overall prevalence of ESBL- and AmpC- producers was 8.2% and 4.7%, respectively, but AmpC carriage increased significantly over the years (from 0 to 7.0%, P < 0.001). ESBL and AmpC β-lactamase-producers were more likely to be found in elderly and ICU patients. The predominant ESBL and AmpC β-lactamase genes were CTX-M- and CMY- types, respectively.
A significant decrease in susceptibility to 3rd-generation cephalosporins and ciprofloxacin occurred in P. mirabilis from Taiwan in the past decade. The prevalence of ESBL remained stable but AmpC β-lactamase-producing P. mirabilis increased significantly. Cefotaxime was a better surrogate than ceftazidime for predicting the presence of these β-lactamases. Continuous surveillance on antimicrobial resistance and associated resistance mechanisms in P. mirabilis is warranted.
PMCID: PMC4162950  PMID: 25192738
Drug resistance; Extended-spectrum β-lactamase; AmpC β-lactamase; Proteus mirabilis; Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI)
2.  Epidemiology and Molecular Characterization of Macrolide-Resistant Streptococcus pyogenes in Taiwan 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2014;52(2):508-516.
Our multicenter nationwide surveillance data indicated that erythromycin (ERY) resistance among group A Streptococcus (GAS) isolates in Taiwan declined from 53.1% in 1998 and 2000 to 14.6% in 2002 and 2004 and 10.7% in 2006 to 2010 (P < 0.01). The present study aimed to assess the epidemiology of GAS in Taiwan and identify factors associated with ERY resistance. All 127 ERY-resistant (ERYr) isolates and 128 randomly selected ERY-susceptible (ERYs) isolates recovered from 1998 to 2010 were emm typed. ERYr isolates were also characterized by ERY resistance phenotype and mechanisms and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Multilocus sequence typing was performed on selected ERYr isolates. The predominant emm types in ERYr isolates were emm22 (n = 33, 26.0%), emm12 (n = 24, 18.9%), emm4 (n = 21, 16.5%), and emm106 (n = 15, 11.8%). In ERYs isolates, emm12 (n = 27, 21.9%), emm1 (n = 18, 14.1%), emm106 (n = 16, 12.5%), and emm11 (n = 9, 7.1%) predominated. The most common ERY resistance phenotype was the M phenotype (resistant to macrolides) (70.9%), with all but one isolate carrying mef(A), followed by the constitutive macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin B resistance (cMLSB) phenotype (26.8%), with isolates carrying erm(B) or erm(TR). ERYr isolates of the emm12-sequence type 36 (ST36) lineage with the cMLSB phenotype were mostly present before 2004, while those of the emm22-ST46 lineage with the M phenotype predominated in later years. Recovery from respiratory (throat swab) specimens was an independent factor associated with ERY resistance. emm1 and emm11 GAS isolates were significantly associated with ERYs, while emm22 was detected only in ERYr GAS. In addition, emm106 isolates were prevalent among the abscess/pus isolates, whereas emm12 isolates were strongly associated with a respiratory (throat) origin. In addition to identifying factors associated with ERY resistance in GAS, our study provides helpful information on the changing GAS epidemiology in Taiwan.
PMCID: PMC3911310  PMID: 24478481
3.  Levofloxacin-Resistant Haemophilus influenzae, Taiwan, 2004–2010 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2014;20(8):1386-1390.
Levofloxacin resistance in Haemophilus influenzae has increased significantly in Taiwan, from 2.0% in 2004 to 24.3% in 2010 (p<0.001). Clinical and molecular investigations of 182 levofloxacin-resistant isolates revealed that the increase was mainly the result of the spread of several clones in the elderly population in different regions.
PMCID: PMC4111205  PMID: 25061696
Haemophilus influenzae; fluoroquinolone resistance; GyrA; ParC; Taiwan; respiratory infections; bacteria; antimicrobial resistance; levofloxacin
4.  An Association of Genotypes and Antimicrobial Resistance Patterns among Salmonella Isolates from Pigs and Humans in Taiwan 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e95772.
We collected 110 Salmonella enterica isolates from sick pigs and determined their serotypes, genotypes using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), and antimicrobial susceptibility to 12 antimicrobials and compared the data with a collection of 18,280 isolates obtained from humans. The pig isolates fell into 12 common serovars for human salmonellosis in Taiwan; S. Typhimurium, S. Choleraesuis, S. Derby, S. Livingstone, and S. Schwarzengrund were the 5 most common serovars and accounted for a total of 84% of the collection. Of the 110 isolates, 106 (96%) were multidrug resistant (MDR) and 48 (44%) had PFGE patterns found in human isolates. S. Typhimurium, S. Choleraesuis, and S. Schwarzengrund were among the most highly resistant serovars. The majority of the 3 serovars were resistant to 8–11 of the tested antimicrobials. The isolates from pigs and humans sharing a common PFGE pattern displayed identical or very similar resistance patterns and Salmonella strains that caused severe infection in pigs were also capable of causing infections in humans. The results indicate that pigs are one of the major reservoirs to human salmonellosis in Taiwan. Almost all of the pig isolates were MDR, which highlights the necessity of strictly regulating the use of antimicrobials in the agriculture sector in Taiwan.
PMCID: PMC3997404  PMID: 24760078
5.  mecA-Positive Staphylococcus aureus with Low-Level Oxacillin MIC in Taiwan 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2012;50(5):1679-1683.
Although the presence of mecA is the genotypic determinant of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), certain MRSA strains, especially community-associated MRSA (C-MRSA), can display an oxacillin MIC in the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute susceptible breakpoint range (≤2 μg/ml). Among 91 and 180 isolates thought to be methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) with oxacillin MICs of 2 and 1 μg/ml as determined by the Sensititre broth microdilution test initially, 52 (57.1%) and 6 (3.3%), respectively, were mecA positive. These mecA-positive low-oxacillin-MIC isolates belong to the dominant Taiwan C-MRSA clone (clonal complex [CC] 59), 56 of which carried SCCmec type V and were pvl positive, and 43 of which belonged to spa CC t437. All 271 isolates were retested by Sensititre, as well as by Vitek II and disk diffusion (DD). Based on the oxacillin results, the sensitivities of the Sensititre, Vitek II, and DD methods were 48.3% (28/58), 46.6% (27/58), and 89.6% (52/58), respectively. Although cefoxitin was better at detecting these isolates, 12.1, 10.4, and 5.2% of these isolates were still misidentified as MSSA by Sensititre, Vitek II, and DD, respectively. These results highlight the difficulty in the accurate identification of MRSA with borderline oxacillin MICs in the CC59:SCCmec V clone, which likely has contributed to its spread in the health care and community settings. Since this clone has now been detected in other countries, and since other C-MRSA lineages have also been found to have low-level β-lactam resistance, the findings of the present study may be relevant to other regions. Further studies are warranted to determine the extent and clinical impact of such misidentification.
PMCID: PMC3347131  PMID: 22378906
6.  Emergence of extensively drug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii complex over 10 years: Nationwide data from the Taiwan Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance (TSAR) program 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:200.
Acinetobacter baumannii complex (ABC) has emerged as an important pathogen causing a variety of infections. Longitudinal multicenter surveillance data on ABC from different sources in Taiwan have not been published. Using data from the Taiwan Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance (TSAR) conducted biennially, we investigated the secular change in resistance of 1640 ABC from 2002 to 2010 (TSAR period III to VII) to different antimicrobial agents and identified factors associated with imipenem-resistant and extensively drug-resistant ABC (IRABC and XDRABC).
Isolates were collected by TSAR from the same 26 hospitals located in all 4 regions of Taiwan. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) were determined by reference broth microdilution method. Isolates nonsusceptible to all tested aminoglycosides, fluoroquinolones, β-lactam, β-lactam/β-lactam inhibitors, and carbapenems were defined as extensively drug-resistant (XDR). Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to assess the relationship between predictor variables among patients with resistant ABC and patients with non-resistant ABC.
The prevalence of IRABC increased from 3.4% in 2002 to 58.7% in 2010 (P < 0.001; odds ratio [OR], 2.138; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.947 to 2.347) and that of XDRABC increased from 1.3% in 2002 to 41.0% in 2010 (P < 0.001; OR, 1.970; 95% CI, 1.773-2.189). The rates of non-susceptibility to other antimicrobial agents remained high (>55%) over the years with some fluctuations before and after TSAR V (2006) on some agents. Multivariate analysis revealed that recovery from elderly patients, origins other than blood, from ICU settings, or geographic regions are independent factors associated with IRABC and XDRABC. Although the prevalence of XDRABC increased in all four regions of Taiwan over the years, central Taiwan had higher prevalence of XDRABC starting in 2008. Susceptibility to polymyxin remained high (99.8%).
This longitudinal multicenter surveillance program revealed significant increase and nationwide emergence of IRABC and XDRABC in Taiwan over the years. This study also identified factors associated with IRABC and XDRABC to help guide empirical therapy and at-risk groups requiring more intense interventional infection control measures with focused surveillance efforts.
PMCID: PMC3462144  PMID: 22929085
Extensively drug-resistant; Acinetobacter baumannii complex; Antimicrobial resistance
7.  Comparison of Human and Soil Candida tropicalis Isolates with Reduced Susceptibility to Fluconazole 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e34609.
Infections caused by treatment-resistant non-albicans Candida species, such as C. tropicalis, has increased, which is an emerging challenge in the management of fungal infections. Genetically related diploid sequence type (DST) strains of C. tropicalis exhibiting reduced susceptibility to fluconazole circulated widely in Taiwan. To identify the potential source of these wildly distributed DST strains, we investigated the possibility of the presence in soil of such C. tropicalis strains by pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and DST typing methods. A total of 56 C. tropicalis isolates were recovered from 26 out of 477 soil samples. Among the 18 isolates with reduced susceptibility to fluconazole, 9 belonged to DST149 and 3 belonged to DST140. Both DSTs have been recovered from our previous studies on clinical isolates from the Taiwan Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance of Yeasts (TSARY) program. Furthermore, these isolates were more resistant to agricultural azoles. We have found genetically related C. tropicalis exhibiting reduced susceptibility to fluconazole from the human hosts and environmental samples. Therefore, to prevent patients from acquiring C. tropicalis with reduced susceptibility to azoles, prudent use of azoles in both clinical and agricultural settings is advocated.
PMCID: PMC3320620  PMID: 22496832
8.  Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Taiwan 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2005;11(11):1761-1763.
We found a virulent closely related clone (Panton-Valentine leukocidin–positive, SCCmec V:ST59) of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in inpatients and outpatients in Taiwan. The isolates were found mostly in wounds but were also detected in blood, ear, respiratory, and other specimens; all were susceptible to ciprofloxacin, gentamicin, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole.
PMCID: PMC3367354  PMID: 16318733
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA, Community-associated MRSA, Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL), SCCmec V; dispatch
9.  Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci from Humans and Retail Chickens in Taiwan with Unique VanB Phenotype-vanA Genotype Incongruence 
Vancomycin resistant enterococci (VRE) with VanB phenotype-vanA genotype incongruence were found in all 39 VRE isolated from chicken carcasses and four human VRE isolates in Taiwan. Three identical mutations in the vanS gene were found in the VanB phenotype-vanA genotype VRE sequenced. This finding indicates possible transmission of glycopeptide resistance among different hosts.
PMCID: PMC127042  PMID: 11796369

Results 1-9 (9)