Epidemiological characterization and distribution of carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii clinical isolates in Italy

M L Mezzatesta, M M D'Andrea, R Migliavacca, T Giani, F Gona, E Nucleo, G Fugazza, L Pagani, G M Rossolini, S Stefani
Clinical Microbiology and Infection 2012, 18 (2): 160-6
This study was aimed at tracing the molecular characteristics of carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB) clinical isolates in Italy with both pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Two hundred and two CRAB isolates were collected during 2004-2009, in two different surveillance periods, from 22 Italian hospitals that were representative for both distribution and infection. PFGE was performed, and the MLST scheme used was based on the gene sequence as published on the MLST Pasteur website Representatives of the major European clones I (RUH 875) and II (RUH 134) were used as controls. The two groups of isolates were characterized for their carbapenem resistance genes: 154 of 202 carried bla(OXA-58) alone, 21 of 202 also carried bla(OXA-23) , and 27 of 202 carried bla(OXA-23) alone. No isolates were positive for bla(OXA-24) . Genotype analysis of all isolates identified four distinct patterns by PFGE, which correlated with four distinct sequence types (STs) by MLST. The distribution of these four clusters in Italy confirmed the propensity of A. baumannii for nosocomial cross-transmission in a vast geographical area. We observed that clones A and B had similarities with European clone II and I respectively. By MLST, clone A was ST2, like European clone II, and clone B was ST1, like European clone I. PFGE and MLST showed the same discriminatory power and reproducibility. In addition, the two methods were concordant in defining CRAB Italian clones and in correlating them with the two pan-European clones.

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