Significance: Diabetic foot ulcers (DFU) are a major and growing public health problem. They pose difficulties in clinical practice in both diagnosis and management. Bacterial interactions on the skin surface are important in the pathophysiology of DFU and may contribute to a delay in healing. Fully identifying bacteria present in these wounds is difficult with traditional culture methods. New molecular tools, however, have greatly contributed to our understanding of the role of the cutaneous microbiota in DFU.
Recent Advances: Molecular technologies revealed new information concerning how bacteria are organized in DFU. This has led to the concept of “functionally equivalent pathogroups,” meaning that certain bacterial species which are usually nonpathogenic (or at least incapable of maintaining a chronic infection on their own) may coaggregate symbiotically in a pathogenic biofilm and act synergistically to cause a chronic infection. The distribution of pathogens in multispecies biofilms is nonrandom. The high bacterial diversity is probably related to the development of a microbial biofilm that is irreversibly attached to the wound matrix.
Critical Issues: Using molecular techniques requires a financial outlay for high-cost equipment. They are still too time-consuming to perform and reporting is too delayed for them to be used in routine practice. Finally, they do not differentiate live from dead or pathogenic from nonpathogenic microorganisms.
Future Directions: Molecular tools have better documented the composition and organization of the skin flora. Further advances are required to elucidate which among the many bacteria in the DFU flora are likely to be pathogens, rather than colonizers.
Foot ulcers are common in diabetic patients, have a cumulative lifetime incidence rate as high as 25% and frequently become infected. The spread of infection to soft tissue and bone is a major causal factor for lower-limb amputation. For this reason, early diagnosis and appropriate treatment are essential, including treatment which is both local (of the foot) and systemic (metabolic), and this requires coordination by a multidisciplinary team. Optimal treatment also often involves extensive surgical debridement and management of the wound base, effective antibiotic therapy, consideration for revascularization and correction of metabolic abnormalities such as hyperglycemia. This article focuses on diagnosis and management of diabetic foot infections in the light of recently published data in order to help clinicians in identification, assessment and antibiotic therapy of diabetic foot infections.
Diabetic foot ulcer; Infection; Management
The emergence and global spread of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae and Acinetobacter baumannii are of great concern to health services worldwide. These β-lactamases hydrolyse almost all β-lactams, are plasmid-encoded, and are easily transferable among bacterial species. They are mostly of the KPC, VIM, IMP, NDM, and OXA-48 types. Their current extensive spread worldwide in Enterobacteriaceae is an important source of concern. Infections caused by these bacteria have limited treatment options and have been associated with high mortality rates. Carbapenemase producers are mainly identified among Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, and A. baumannii and still mostly in hospital settings and rarely in the community. The Mediterranean region is of interest due to a great diversity and population mixing. The prevalence of carbapenemases is particularly high, with this area constituting one of the most important reservoirs. The types of carbapenemase vary among countries, partially depending on the population exchange relationship between the regions and the possible reservoirs of each carbapenemase. This review described the epidemiology of carbapenemases produced by enterobacteria and A. baumannii in this part of the world highlighting the worrisome situation and the need to screen and detect these enzymes to prevent and control their dissemination.
To extend our previous work on evaluating the use of oligonucleotide arrays to discriminate colonization from infection owing to Staphylococcus aureus in diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs).
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Patients admitted to 14 French diabetic foot departments for a DFU were screened for entry into the study. At admission, ulcers were classified based on clinical examination according to the Infectious Diseases Society of America system. Only patients with monomicrobial culture for S. aureus were included. In persons with an uninfected ulcer, a second wound bacterial specimen was obtained 1 month later. Using oligonucleotide arrays, S. aureus resistance and virulence genes were determined, and each isolate was affiliated to a clonal complex (CC).
S. aureus was initially isolated from 75 uninfected and 120 infected ulcers; 35 were methicillin resistant. A total of 44 (59%) strains from uninfected DFUs belonged to CC5/CC8 clones vs. 6 (5%) from infected DFUs (P < 0.001). During follow-up, 57 (76%) of uninfected DFUs healed or had a favorable outcome; the strain in 49 (86%) of them belonged to CC5/CC8. Conversely, 18 (24%) had a poor outcome but not a single strain belonged to CC5/CC8 clone. Moreover, lukDE was significantly associated with a favorable outcome of the wound.
As suggested by our previous study, the use of DNA arrays appears to be a promising technique that might help distinguishing uninfected from infected wounds, predicting ulcer outcome and then contributing to a more adequate use of antibiotics.
OBJECTIVE—The purpose of this study was to assess the virulence potential of Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated from diabetic foot ulcers and to discriminate noninfected from infected ulcers.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—Diabetic patients hospitalized in a diabetic foot department with a foot ulcer were prospectively enrolled if they had been free of antibiotic treatment over the previous 6 months. At admission, ulcers were classified as infected or noninfected on the basis of clinical examination, according to the International Working Group on the Diabetic Foot system. Only patients carrying S. aureus as the sole pathogen were included. In individuals with a grade 1 ulcer, a second bacterial specimen was obtained 1 month later. Using virulence genotyping markers, clonality tools, and an in vivo Caenorhabditis elegans model, we correlated the virulence of 132 S. aureus strains with grade, time of collection, and ulcer outcome.
RESULTS—Among virulence genes, the most relevant combination derived from the logistic regression was the association of cap8, sea, sei, lukE, and hlgv (area under the curve 0.958). These markers were useful to distinguish noninfected (grade 1) from infected (grades 2–4) ulcers and to predict wound status at the follow-up. With use of the nematode model, S. aureus strains isolated from grade 1 ulcers were found to be significantly less virulent than strains from ulcers at or above grade 2 (P < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS—This study highlights the coexistence of two S. aureus populations on diabetic foot ulcers. A combination of five genes that may help distinguish colonized grade 1 from infected grade ≥2 wounds, predict ulcer outcome, and contribute to more appropriate use of antibiotics was discovered.
Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) is a carbapenemase increasingly reported worldwide in Enterobacteriaceae. The aim of this study was to analyze the virulence of several KPC-2-producing K. pneumoniae isolates. The studied strains were (i) five KPC-2 clinical strains from different geographical origins, belonging to different ST-types and possessing plasmids of different incompatibility groups; (ii) seven transformants obtained after electroporation of either these natural KPC plasmids or a recombinant plasmid harboring only the blaKPC-2 gene into reference strains K. pneumoniae ATCC10031/CIP53153; and (iii) five clinical strains cured of plasmids. The virulence of K. pneumoniae isolates was evaluated in the Caenorhabditis elegans model. The clinical KPC producers and transformants were significantly less virulent (LT50: 5.5 days) than K. pneumoniae reference strain (LT50: 4.3 days) (p<0.01). However, the worldwide spread KPC-2 positive K. pneumoniae ST258 strains and reference strains containing plasmids extracted from K. pneumoniae ST258 strains had a higher virulence than KPC-2 strains belonging to other ST types (LT50: 5 days vs. 6 days, p<0.01). The increased virulence observed in cured strains confirmed this trend. The blaKPC-2 gene itself was not associated to increased virulence.
Over the past few decades, the emergence of multidrug resistance (MDR) to antibiotics in bacteria has led to major difficulties in the management of infected patients. At present, there is a serious lack of development of new antibacterial agents. Mathematical models are one approach to understand how antibiotic usage patterns may be optimized. However, the classical approach to modeling the emergence of MDR relies on the simplifying assumption that resistance is acquired at a constant rate. In their model, Obolski and Hadany introduce the notion of horizontal gene transfer and stress-induced mutation, with antibiotics constituting an environmental stressor of particular relevance. Finally, from this complex mathematical model, the authors propose predictions for minimizing MDR in bacteria depending on strategies of antibiotic treatment.
Please see related article: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/10/89
antibiotic resistance; mathematical models; multidrug resistance
We compared the virulence properties of a collection of asymptomatic bacteriuria (ABU) Escherichia coli strains to urinary tract infection (UTI) strains isolated from pregnant women in a university hospital over 1 year. The in vitro and in vivo studies suggest that ABU strains presented a virulence behavior similar to that of strains isolated from cases of cystitis.
Recently, the worldwide propagation of clonal CTX-M-15-producing Escherichia coli isolates, namely ST131 and O25b:H4, has been reported. Like the majority of extra-intestinal pathogenic E. coli isolates, the pandemic clone ST131 belongs to phylogenetic group B2, and has recently been shown to be highly virulent in a mouse model, even though it lacks several genes encoding key virulence factors (Pap, Cnf1 and HlyA). Using two animal models, Caenorhabditis elegans and zebrafish embryos, we assessed the virulence of three E. coli ST131 strains (2 CTX-M-15- producing urine and 1 non-ESBL-producing faecal isolate), comparing them with five non-ST131 B2 and a group A uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC). In C. elegans, the three ST131 strains showed intermediate virulence between the non virulent group A isolate and the virulent non-ST131 B2 strains. In zebrafish, the CTX-M-15-producing ST131 UPEC isolates were also less virulent than the non-ST131 B2 strains, suggesting that the production of CTX-M-15 is not correlated with enhanced virulence. Amongst the non-ST131 B2 group isolates, variation in pathogenic potential in zebrafish embryos was observed ranging from intermediate to highly virulent. Interestingly, the ST131 strains were equally persistent in surviving embryos as the non-ST131-group B2 strains, suggesting similar mechanisms may account for development of persistent infection. Optical maps of the genome of the ST131 strains were compared with those of 24 reference E. coli strains. Although small differences were seen within the ST131 strains, the tree built on the optical maps showed that these strains belonged to a specific cluster (86% similarity) with only 45% similarity with the other group B2 strains and 25% with strains of group A and D. Thus, the ST131 clone has a genetic composition that differs from other group B2 strains, and appears to be less virulent than previously suspected.
Escherichia coli, the main bacteria found in recurrent urinary tract infections (UTI), is now frequently resistant to several currently used antibiotic treatments making new solutions essential. In this study, we evaluated the association propolis and proanthocyanidins type A to reduce bacterial anti-adhesion activity of E. coli on urothelial cells.
This first double-blind, randomized, cross-over human trial included 5 volunteers that followed 6 different regimens with or without variable doses of cranberry and propolis with a washout period of at least 1 week between each regimen. Urine samples were collected at 0 h, 4-6 h, 12 h and 24 h after cranberry plus propolis or placebo capsule consumption. In vivo urinary bacterial anti-adhesion activity was assessed with a bioassay (a human T24 epithelial cell-line assay) and an in vivo Caenorhabditis elegans model. HPLC-PDA-MS was used to detect propolis and cranberry compounds in urine. Bioassays indicated significant bacterial anti-adhesion activity in urine collected from volunteers who had consumed cranberry plus propolis powder compared to placebo (p < 0.001). This inhibition was clearly dose-dependent, increasing with the amount of PACs and propolis equivalents consumed in each regimen. Results suggested that propolis had an additional effect with PACs and prevent a bacterial anti-adhesion effect over 1 day. An in vivo model showed that the E. coli strain presented a reduced ability to kill C. elegans after their growth in urine samples of patients who took cranberry plus propolis capsules. HPLC confirmed that propolis is excreted in urine.
This study presents an alternative to prevent recurrent UTI. Administration of PACs plus propolis once daily offers some protection against bacterial adhesion, bacterial multiplication and virulence in the urinary tract, representing an interesting new strategy to prevent recurrent UTI.
Ingestion of cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) has traditionally been utilized for prevention of urinary tract infections. The proanthocyanidins (PACs) in cranberry, in particular the A-type linkages have been implicated as important inhibitors of primarily P-fimbriated E. coli adhesion to uroepithelial cells. Additional experiments were required to investigate the persistence in urine samples over a broader time period, to determine the most effective dose per day and to determine if the urinary anti-adhesion effect following cranberry is detected within volunteers of different origins.
Two separate bioassays (a mannose-resistant hemagglutination assay and an original new human T24 epithelial cell-line assay) have assessed the ex-vivo urinary bacterial anti-adhesion activity on urines samples collected from 32 volunteers from Japan, Hungary, Spain and France in a randomized, double-blind versus placebo study. An in vivo Caenorhabditis elegans model was used to evaluate the influence of cranberry regimen on the virulence of E. coli strain.
The results indicated a significant bacterial anti-adhesion activity in urine samples collected from volunteers that consumed cranberry powder compared to placebo (p < 0.001). This inhibition was clearly dose-dependent, prolonged (until 24 h with 72 mg of PAC) and increasing with the amount of PAC equivalents consumed in each cranberry powder regimen. An in vivo Caenorhabditis elegans model showed that cranberry acted against bacterial virulence: E. coli strain presented a reduced ability to kill worms after a growth in urines samples of patients who took cranberry capsules. This effect is particularly important with the regimen of 72 mg of PAC.
Administration of PAC-standardized cranberry powder at dosages containing 72 mg of PAC per day may offer some protection against bacterial adhesion and virulence in the urinary tract. This effect may offer a nyctohemeral protection.
Impairment of the intestinal barrier and subsequent microbial translocation (MT) may be involved in chronic immune activation, which plays a central role in HIV pathogenesis. Th17 cells are critical to prevent MT. The aim of the study was to investigate, in patients with primary HIV infection (PHI), the early relationship between the Th17/Treg ratio, monocyte activation and MT and their impact on the T-cell activation set point, which is known to predict disease progression. 27 patients with early PHI were included in a prospective longitudinal study and followed-up for 6 months. At baseline, the Th17/Treg ratio strongly negatively correlated with the proportion of activated CD8 T cells expressing CD38/HLA-DR or Ki-67. Also, the Th17/Treg ratio was negatively related to viral load and plasma levels of sCD14 and IL-1RA, two markers of monocyte activation. In untreated patients, the Th17/Treg ratio at baseline negatively correlated with CD8 T-cell activation at month 6 defining the T-cell activation set point (% HLA-DR+CD38+ and %Ki-67+). Soluble CD14 and IL-1RA plasma levels also predicted the T-cell activation set point. Levels of I-FABP, a marker of mucosal damages, were similar to healthy controls at baseline but increased at month 6. No decrease in anti-endotoxin core antibody (EndoCAb) and no peptidoglycan were detected during PHI. In addition, 16S rDNA was only detected at low levels in 2 out 27 patients at baseline and in one additional patient at M6. Altogether, data support the hypothesis that T-cell and monocyte activation in PHI are not primarily driven by systemic MT but rather by viral replication. Moreover, the “innate immune set point” defined by the early levels of sCD14 and IL-1RA might be powerful early surrogate markers for disease progression and should be considered for use in clinical practice.
Generalized immune activation is pivotal in the pathogenesis of HIV disease. Impairment in the gut mucosal barrier allows the translocation of microbial flora from the gut towards the circulation. Translocated microbial products, together with HIV replication, contribute to chronic immune activation. Th17 cells are involved in epithelial barrier integrity and a loss of the balance between Th17 and regulatory T cells (Tregs) has been associated with disease progression. Early events occurring following infection are crucial for the subsequent disease progression. Thus, a high immune activation set point (level of T-cell activation established at the end of acute infection) is a marker of poor prognosis. Whether microbial translocation contributes to the immune activation set point remains an outstanding question. In our longitudinal prospective study of patients with acute infection, we investigated the early relationships between the Th17/Treg balance, monocyte activation and microbial translocation and their impact on the T-cell activation set point. We demonstrated that systemic microbial translocation does not occur at the time of acute infection. Moreover, we identified IL-1RA as a novel plasma biomarker predictive of the immune activation set point. This biomarker could be considered for use in clinical practice as a surrogate marker for disease progression.
The relationship between efflux system overexpression and cross-resistance to cefoxitin, quinolones, and chloramphenicol has recently been reported in Klebsiella pneumoniae. In 3 previously published clinical isolates and 17 in vitro mutants selected with cefoxitin or fluoroquinolones, mutations in the potential regulator genes of the AcrAB efflux pump (acrR, ramR, ramA, marR, marA, soxR, soxS, and rob) were searched, and their impacts on efflux-related antibiotic cross-resistance were assessed. All mutants but 1, and 2 clinical isolates, overexpressed acrB. No mutation was detected in the regulator genes studied among the clinical isolates and 8 of the mutants. For the 9 remaining mutants, a mutation was found in the ramR gene in 8 of them and in the soxR gene in the last one, resulting in overexpression of ramA and soxS, respectively. Transformation of the ramR mutants and the soxR mutant with the wild-type ramR and soxR genes, respectively, abolished overexpression of acrB and ramA in the ramR mutants and of soxS in the soxR mutant, as well as antibiotic cross-resistance. Resistance due to efflux system overexpression was demonstrated for 4 new antibiotics: cefuroxime, cefotaxime, ceftazidime, and ertapenem. This study shows that the ramR and soxR genes control the expression of efflux systems in K. pneumoniae and suggests the existence of efflux pumps other than AcrAB and of other loci involved in the regulation of AcrAB expression.
Cross-resistance to cefoxitin (FOX), chloramphenicol (CMP), and quinolones (nalidixic acid [NAL]) related to a putative efflux system overexpression has recently been reported for Klebsiella pneumoniae. The potential impact of this multidrug resistance (MDR) on the virulence of K. pneumoniae was evaluated in the Caenorhabditis elegans model. For 2 of the 3 MDR clinical isolates studied, a significant increase in acrB transcription was found in comparison with their antibiotic-susceptible revertants. ATCC 138821 and MDR, revertant, and derivative strains with altered porin expression were studied. Strains proved or suspected to overexpress an efflux system were significantly more virulent than the ATCC and revertant strains (time to kill 50% of nematodes [LT50] in days: 3.4 to 3.8 ± 0.2 versus 4.1 to 4.4 ± 0.3, P < 0.001). Inversely, strains with altered porin expression were significantly less virulent, independently of the expression level of efflux system (LT50 = 5.4 to 5.6 ± 0.2, P < 0.001). Altered porin expression did not change MICs of CMP and NAL but did those of FOX (4 to 16× MIC) and ertapenem (16 to 64× MIC). The strains with a normally or an overexpressed efflux system that received the β-lactamase CTX-M-15 became more widely resistant without modification of their virulence potential, suggesting that balance between resistance and virulence is dependent on the type of resistance mechanisms. In conclusion, this study shows that the expression of both efflux systems and porins is a key factor not only for antibiotic resistance but also virulence potential in K. pneumoniae.
We investigated the occurrence of multidrug resistance in 44 Enterobacter aerogenes and Klebsiella pneumoniae clinical isolates. Efflux was involved in resistance in E. aerogenes isolates more frequently than in K. pneumoniae isolates (100 versus 38% of isolates) and was associated with the expression of phenylalanine arginine β-naphthylamide-susceptible active efflux. AcrA-TolC overproduction in E. aerogenes isolates was noted. An analysis of four E. aerogenes isolates for which cefepime MICs were high revealed no modification in porin expression but a new specific mutation in the AmpC β-lactamase.
β-lactamase production and porin decrease are the well-recognized mechanisms of acquired ß-lactam resistance in Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates. However, such mechanisms proved to be absent in K. pneumoniae isolates that are non susceptible to cefoxitin (FOX) and succeptible to amoxicillin+clavulanic acid in our hospital. Assessing the role of efflux pumps in this β-lactam phenotype was the aim of this study.
MICs of 9 β-lactams, including cloxacillin (CLX), and other antibiotic families were tested alone and with an efflux pump inhibitor (EPI), then with both CLX (subinhibitory concentrations) and EPI against 11 unique bacteremia K. pneumoniae isolates displaying the unusual phenotype, and 2 ATCC strains. CLX and EPI-dose dependent effects were studied on 4 representatives strains. CLX MICs significantly decreased when tested with EPI. A similar phenomenon was observed with piperacillin+tazobactam whereas MICs of the other β-lactams significantly decreased only in the presence of both EPI and CLX. Thus, FOX MICs decreased 128 fold in the K. pneumoniae isolates but also16 fold in ATCC strain. Restoration of FOX activity was CLX dose-dependent suggesting a competitive relationship between CLX and the other β-lactams with regard to their efflux. For chloramphenicol, erythromycin and nalidixic acid whose resistance was also due to efflux, adding CLX to EPI did not increase their activity suggesting differences between the efflux process of these molecules and that of β-lactams.
This is the first study demonstrating that efflux mechanism plays a key role in the β-lactam susceptibility of clinical isolates of K. pneumoniae. Such data clearly evidence that the involvement of efflux pumps in ß-lactam resistance is specially underestimated in clinical isolates.
The role of enterococci in the pathogenesis of polymicrobial infections is still debated. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of virulent enterococci in the presence or absence of Escherichia coli strains in the in vivo Caenorhabditis elegans model.
This study demonstrated that there was a synergistic effect on virulence when an association of enterococci and E. coli (LT50 = 1.6 days±0.1 according to the tested strains and death of nematodes in 4 days±0.5) was tested in comparison with enterococci alone (LT50 = 4.6 days±0.1 and death in 10.4 days±0.6) or E. coli alone (LT50 = 2.1±0.9 and deaths 6.6±0.6) (p<0.001). In addition, there was a relation between the virulence of E. faecalis strains alone and the virulence potential of the association with E. coli strains. Finally, in the presence of avirulent E. coli strains, enterococci have no effect (LT50 = 4.3±0.5 and deaths in 10.8±0.8), independently of the level of their own virulence, demonstrating that the ‘enterococci effect’ only occurred in the presence of virulent E. coli strains.
This study allows a better understanding of a bacterial cooperation. Moreover, it could help to optimize the antibiotic regimen during polymicrobial infections.
In 2004, 65 CTX-M-producing Escherichia coli isolates were collected from infected patients in four French hospitals. The blaCTX-M-15 genes were predominant. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis highlighted a clonal propagation of CTX-M-15-producing strains belonging to phylogenetic group B2, notably in the community. The main risk factors for acquiring these isolates were urinary tract infections or the presence of a urinary catheter in diabetic or renal failure patients.
By PCR, we screened for qnr genes 112 clinical isolates of extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli collected from hospitals in France during 2004. For the first time, 7.7% of CTX-M-producing E. coli isolates presented a plasmid-mediated resistance to quinolones. All strains harbored a qnrA gene located on a sul1-type class 1 integron with similar structure to the In36 integron.
An 18,228-bp region containing open reading frames predicted to be derived from the IncP plasmid or phage ancestors is present in the genomes of Brucella suis biovars 1 to 4, B. canis, B. neotomae, and strains isolated from marine mammals, but not in B. melitensis, B. abortus, B. ovis, and B. suis biovar 5. The presence of circular excision intermediates and the results of an analysis of sequenced bacterial genomes suggest that the region downstream of the guaA gene is a hotspot for site-specific integration of foreign DNA mediated by a CP4-like integrase.
We report the identification of BvfA (for Brucella virulence factor A), a small periplasmic protein unique to the genus Brucella, which is essential for the virulence of Brucella suis. A BvfA knockout mutant was highly attenuated both in in vitro macrophage infection assays and in vivo in the murine model of brucellosis. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis with green fluorescent protein fusions showed that the expression of bvfA is induced within macrophages by phagosome acidification and coregulated with the B. suis virB operon, suggesting that it too may play a role in the establishment of the intracellular replication niche.
We report the first strain of glycopeptide-resistant Enterococcus faecium from Europe that contains a vanD allele isolated from blood cultures of an immunocompromised patient hospitalized in a French university hospital. Based on phenotypic results, PCR sequencing, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, and Southern blotting, the isolate was assigned to E. faecium with a chromosomally located VanD allele most closely related to the VanD1 allele.
A Brucella suis mgtC mutant is defective for growth within macrophages and in low-Mg2+ medium. These phenotypes are strikingly similar to those observed with mgtC mutants from Salmonella enterica and Mycobacterium tuberculosis, two other pathogens that proliferate within phagosomes. MgtC appears as a remarkable virulence factor that would have been acquired by distantly related intracellular pathogens to contribute to the adaptation to a low-Mg2+ environment in the phagosome.
We report the first case of pacemaker endocarditis due to a new rod-shaped Neisseria sp. isolated from blood culture. On the basis of rrs sequencing, the isolate was found to be most closely related to an uncultured organism from human subgingival plaque and was identified as Neisseria sp. group AK105. A cure was achieved after a combination of surgical and antibiotic treatment. Oral flora-induced pacemaker endocarditis is a rare condition that reinforces the need for good oral hygiene as an important preventive measure.