JOURNAL ARTICLE

Analysis of β-lactamase phenotypes and carriage of selected β-lactamase genes among Escherichia coli strains obtained from Kenyan patients during an 18-year period

John Kiiru, Samuel Kariuki, Bruno M Goddeeris, Patrick Butaye
BMC Microbiology 2012, 12: 155
22838634

BACKGROUND: Although β-lactam antibiotics are heavily used in many developing countries, the diversity of β-lactamase genes (bla) is poorly understood. We screened for major β-lactamase phenotypes and diversity of bla genes among 912 E. coli strains isolated from clinical samples obtained between 1992 and 2010 from hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients.

RESULTS: None of the isolates was resistant to carbapenems but 30% of all isolates were susceptible to cefepime, cephamycins and piperacillin-tazobactam. Narrow spectrum β-lactamase (NSBL) phenotype was observed in 278 (30%) isolates that contained bla(TEM-1) (54%) or bla(SHV-1) (35%) or both (11%). Extended Spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) phenotype was detected in 247 (27%) isolates which carried blaCTX-M-14 (29%), bla(CTX-M-15) (24%), bla(CTX-M-9) (2%), bla(CTX-M-8) (4%), bla(CTX-M-3) (11%), bla(CTX-M-1) (6%), blaSHV-5 (3%), bla(SHV-12) (5%), and bla(TEM-52) (16%). Complex Mutant TEM-like (CMT) phenotype was detected in 220 (24%) isolates which carried bla(TEM-125) (29%), while bla(TEM-50), bla(TEM-78), bla(TEM-109), bla(TEM -152) and bla(TEM-158) were detected in lower frequencies of between 7% and 11%. Majority of isolates producing a combination of CTX-M-15 + OXA-1 + TEM-1 exhibited resistance phenotypes barely indistinguishable from those of CMT-producers. Although 73 (8%) isolates exhibited Inhibitor Resistant TEM-like (IRT) phenotype, bla(TEM-103) was the only true IRT-encoding gene identified in 18 (25%) of strains with this phenotype while the rest produced a combination of TEM-1 + OXA-1. The pAmpCs-like phenotype was observed in 94 (10%) isolates of which 77 (82%) carried bla(CMY-2) while 18% contained blaCMY-1.Isolates from urine accounted for 53%, 53%, 74% and 72% of strains exhibiting complex phenotypes such as IRT, ESBL, CMT or pAmpC respectively. On the contrary, 55% isolates from stool exhibited the relatively more susceptible NSBL-like phenotype. All the phenotypes, and majority of the bla genes, were detected both in isolates from hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients but complex phenotypes were particularly common among strains obtained between 2000 and 2010 from urine of hospitalized patients.

CONCLUSIONS: The phenotypes and diversity of bla genes in E. coli strains implicated in clinical infections in non-hospitalized and hospitalized patients in Kenya is worryingly high. In order to preserve the efficacy of β-lactam antibiotics, culture and susceptibility data should guide therapy and surveillance studies for β-lactamase-producers in developing countries should be launched.

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