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Microbes Infect. 2002 May;4(6):613-20.

Antibiotic resistance and virulence properties of Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains from mechanically ventilated patients with pneumonia in intensive care units: comparison with imipenem-resistant extra-respiratory tract isolates from uninfected patients.

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Equipe microbiologie, laboratoire ERRMECe, U.F.R. sciences et techniques, université de Cergy-Pontoise, 2, avenue A. Chauvin, BP222, France.


We investigated the epidemiology of antibiotic resistance and virulence properties among Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical isolates collected in 1999 from patients hospitalized in the intensive care units of the centre hospitalier d'Orléans, in France. We compared the totality of the strains from mechanically ventilated patients with pneumonia (33 non-duplicate isolates, group 1) to 15 randomly chosen, imipenem-resistant, extra-respiratory tract isolates, collected from non-infected patients hospitalized in the same units (group 2). The isolates were serotyped, typed by random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD), and screened for their pneumocyte cell adherence, cytotoxicity, and antibiotic resistance. A total of 35 RAPD profiles were found, and only two profiles were encountered in both groups, demonstrating a high genetic diversity. 84.8% of the group 1 and 93.3% of the group 2 isolates adhered to A549 cells. Three non-exclusive adhesive patterns were observed: a diffuse adhesion in 38 isolates, a localized adhesion in 14 isolates, and an aggregative adhesion in seven isolates. 78.8% of the group 1 and 93.3% of the group 2 isolates were cytotoxic. Considering all 48 isolates, there was a strong and statistically significant correlation between cytotoxicity and adherence. Among the three dominant serotypes, O:12 isolates were in majority avirulent, but the great majority of O:1 and all the O:11 isolates were found adherent and cytotoxic. Gentamicin was the least active antibiotic for both groups, and ceftazidime was the most active antibiotic for group 1 and amikacin for group 2. The penicillinase production phenotype was significantly correlated with a decrease in P. aeruginosa virulence.

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