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Indian J Med Microbiol. 2018 Oct-Dec;36(4):488-493. doi: 10.4103/ijmm.IJMM_18_388.

Multidrug-resistant Enterobacteriaceae colonising the gut of adult rural population in South India.

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Department of Microbiology, Pushpagiri Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Thiruvalla, Kerala, India.
Department of Biostatistics, Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences, Kalapet, Puducherry, India.
Department of Microbiology, Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences, Kalapet, Puducherry, India.



Multidrug-resistant (MDR) colonisers act as a reservoir for transmission of antibiotic resistance and are a source of infection. Exposure to antibiotics by the commensal flora renders them resistant. Antibiotic consumption and hospitalisation are two major factors influencing this. We studied, antibiotic-resistant bacteria colonising rural adult population who had restricted access to health care and presumably had low consumption of antibiotics.


Detection of multidrug resistance genes of extended spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL-CTX-M), AmpC β-Lactamase (CIT), Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) and New Delhi Metallo β-lactamase (NDM) in Enterobacteriaceae colonising the gut of adult population in a South Indian rural community.


Faecal samples of 154 healthy volunteers were screened for Enterobacteriaceae resistant to commonly used antibiotics by standard methods, followed by phenotypic detection of ESBL by double disk synergy method, AmpC by spot inoculation and carbapenemases by imipenem and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid + imipenem combined E-test strips and modified Hodge test. Polymerase chain reaction was done to detect blaCTX-M,blaCIT,blaKPC-1 and blaNDM-1 genes coding for ESBL, AmpC, KPC and NDM, respectively.


Colonisation rate of enteric bacteria with MDR genes in the community was 30.1%. However, phenotypically, only ESBL (3.2%) and NDM (0.65%) were detected. While the genes coding for ESBL, AmpC and NDM were detected in 35.6%, 17.8% and 4.4% of the MDR isolates, respectively.


Carriage of MDR strains with a potential to express multidrug resistance poses a threat of dissemination in the community. Awareness for restricted use of antibiotics and proper sanitation can contain the spread of resistant bacteria.


Enterobacteriaceae; faecal carriage; gut colonisers; multidrug-resistant; rural India


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