JOURNAL ARTICLE

AmpC β-lactamases in nosocomial isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae from India

Varsha Gupta, Karthikeyan Kumarasamy, Neelam Gulati, Ritu Garg, Padma Krishnan, Jagdish Chander
Indian Journal of Medical Research 2012, 136 (2): 237-41
22960890

BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVES: AmpC β-lactamases are clinically significant since these confer resistance to cephalosporins in the oxyimino group, 7-α methoxycephalosporins and are not affected by available β-lactamase inhibitors. In this study we looked for both extended spectrum β-lactamases (ESBL) and AmpC β-lactamases in Klebsiella pneumoniae clinical isolates.

METHODS: One hundred consecutive, non-duplicate clinical isolates of K. pneumoniae collected over a period of one year (June 2008 - June 2009) were included in the study. An antibiotic susceptibility method was used with 10 antibiotics for Gram-negative infections which helped in screening for ESBL and AmpC β-lactamases and also in confirmation of ESBL production. The detection of AmpC β-lactamases was done based on screening and confirmatory tests. For screening, disc diffusion zones of cefoxitin <18 mm was taken as cefoxitin resistant. All cefoxitin resistant isolates were tested further by AmpC disk test and modified three dimensional test. Multiplex-PCR was performed for screening the presence of plasmid-mediated AmpC genes.

RESULTS: Of the 100 isolates of K. pneumoniae studied, 48 were resistant to cefoxitin on screening. AmpC disk test was positive in 32 (32%) isolates. This was also confirmed with modified three dimensional test. Indentation indicating strong AmpC producer was observed in 25 isolates whereas little distortion (weak AmpC) was observed in 7 isolates. ESBL detection was confirmed by a modification of double disk synergy test in 56 isolates. Cefepime was the best cephalosporin in synergy with tazobactam for detecting ESBL production in isolates co-producing AmpC β-lactamases. The subsets of isolates phenotypically AmpC β-lactamase positive were subjected to amplification of six different families of AmpC gene using multiplex PCR. The sequence analysis revealed 12 CMY-2 and eight DHA-1 types.

INTERPRETATION & CONCLUSIONS: Tazobactam was the best β-lactamase inhibitor for detecting ESBL in presence of AmpC β-lactamase as this is a very poor inducer of AmpC gene. Amongst cephalosporins, cefepime was the best cephalosporin in detecting ESBL in presence of AmpC β-lactamase as it is least hydrolyzed by AmpC enzymes. Cefepime-tazobactam combination disk test would be a simple and best method in detection of ESBLs in Enterobacteriaceae co-producing AmpC β-lactamase in the routine diagnostic microbiology laboratories.

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