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J Clin Microbiol. 2002 Sep;40(9):3121-6.

Emergence of Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates producing inducible DHA-1 beta-lactamase in a university hospital in Taiwan.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University. Department of Pathology, Sinlau Christian Hospital, Tainan, Taiwan.


Ten nonrepetitive clinical isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae exhibiting an unusual inducible beta-lactam resistance phenotype were identified between January 1999 and September 2001 in a university hospital in Taiwan. In the presence of 2 micro g of clavulanic acid, the isolates showed a one to four twofold concentration increase in the MICs of ceftazidime, cefotaxime, and aztreonam but remained susceptible to cefepime (MICs, </=0.5 micro g/ml) and imipenem (MICs, </=0.5 micro g/ml). PCR, sequence analysis, and isoelectric focusing revealed production by these isolates of TEM-1, SHV-11, and DHA-1, a plasmid-encoded inducible AmpC beta-lactamase originally found in a Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis strain. Transfer of the resistance by conjugation experiments was not successful, but Southern hybridization showed that bla(DHA-1) was located on 70-kb plasmids, suggesting that the bla(DHA-1)-containing plasmids in the K. pneumoniae isolates were non-self-transmissible. Five isolates were recovered from patients in two surgery wards and two intensive care units. Acquisition of the DHA-1 producers could be traced back to previous hospitalizations 1 to 5 months earlier for the other five patients. Six and seven patterns among the isolates were demonstrated by plasmid analysis and ribotyping, respectively, indicating that the spread of the DHA-1 producers was due to both horizontal transfer of bla(DHA-1) and dissemination of endemic clones.

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