Transmission of a Klebsiella pneumoniae clone harbouring genes for CTX-M-15-like and SHV-112 enzymes in a neonatal intensive care unit of a Kuwaiti hospital

Ali A Dashti, Mehrez M Jadaon, Huda H Gomaa, Bobby Noronha, Edet E Udo
Journal of Medical Microbiology 2010, 59: 687-92
The spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has become a large problem in most countries including Kuwait. This antibiotic resistance is usually due to the production of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) enzymes such as SHV, TEM and CTX-M. This study reports the emergence and spread of an ESBL-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae clone in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in a Kuwaiti hospital. Eight ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae isolates were from blood cultures of seven neonates, and two were from the fingers of two healthcare workers in a NICU in Al Jahra Hospital, Kuwait. All isolates were obtained in February-March 2006, except for one, which was obtained in August 2005. Identification of the bacteria was based on traditional bacteriological and biochemical tests using the Vitek system. Antibiotic susceptibility was tested by the disc diffusion method using 16 different antibiotics. ESBLs were detected using disc approximation and double-disc synergy methods and confirmed as ESBLs using Etest. PCR and DNA sequencing were performed to determine the genotypes and mutations in the beta-lactamase genes (blaTEM, blaSHV and blaCTX-M). Genetic relatedness was determined by PFGE. All isolates were confirmed to have ESBLs by the Vitek system, disc approximation test, double-disc diffusion test and Etest, being resistant to cefotaxime, ceftazidime, cefepime, gentamicin, tobramycin and ciprofloxacin but susceptible to tetracycline and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Molecular studies showed the isolates to have TEM-1 beta-lactamase, a CTX-M-15-like ESBL and the newly discovered SHV-112 ESBL. PFGE showed that all isolates had identical banding patterns. The results indicate that a single clone of ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae caused bloodstream infections among babies in a NICU of a Kuwaiti hospital, and may have emerged at least 5 years ago. This clone was also present on the hands of healthcare workers, suggesting that they may have been involved in its transmission. Further studies are recommended to determine whether this clone is also spreading in other Kuwaiti hospitals.

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