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J Hosp Infect. 2004 Feb;56(2):111-8.

Clinical surveillance of surgical imipenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection in a Japanese hospital.

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Department of Surgery, Programs for Applied Biomedicine, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Hiroshima University, 1-2-3 Kasumi, Minami-ku, Hiroshima, Japan.


In order to elucidate any changes in imipenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (IRPA) infections in Japan, we examined 511 P. aeruginosa stains isolated from our surgical ward between 1987 and 2001. These isolates were subjected to susceptibility testing against various antipseudomonal agents including imipenem, meropenem, ceftazidime, gentamicin and ciprofloxacin. They were serotyped with the slide agglutination test and genotyped using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). The annual incidences of IRPA infections were particularly high in the early 1990s. Epidemiological investigations revealed that these outbreaks were due to dissemination of hospital-acquired IRPA isolates. Intensive use of imipenem promoted the selection of highly resistant strains. Further study of resistance mechanisms revealed that none of the 110 IRPA strains were metallo-beta-lactamase (MBL) producers. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis using bla(IMP) specific primers confirmed that no IMP-1 type MBL gene-positive strains were detected from our ward. Susceptibilities of those IRPA strains against other antipseudomonal agents showed relatively low levels, suggesting that imipenem resistance was mainly due to impermeability of the OprD porin. In conclusion, hospital-acquired outbreaks of IRPA were recently reduced by guidelines for, and surveillance of, appropriate use of antimicrobial agents. When the rate of IRPA isolation increases, serotyping should be performed initially and PFGE is required to confirm outbreaks. A computer-assisted genotyping technique is available to perform epidemiological studies of IRPA isolates.

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