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J Antimicrob Chemother. 1995 Jul;36(1):65-82.

Molecular epidemiology of ceftazidime resistant Enterobacteriaceae from patients on a paediatric oncology ward.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Leeds, UK.


Between the autumn of 1989 and January 1990, 21 of the 44 children on the paediatric oncology ward of St. James's University Hospital, Leeds, UK were infected or colonised with Enterobacteriaceae producing extended-spectrum beta-lactamases. This represents 48% of the patients on the ward. Only six patients (14%) had microbiologically proven septicaemia caused by such bacteria during this period. Eighty-one isolates of Enterobacteriaceae producing extended-spectrum beta-lactamases derived from blood culture (7 isolates from 6 patients) or faecal samples (74 isolates) were available for examination. These comprised 28 Escherichia coli, 28 Klebsiella oxytoca, 11 Klebsiella pneumoniae, 10 Citrobacter freundii, 3 Enterobacter spp. and 1 Serratia marcescens. Clinical isolates were resistant to penicillins and to ceftazidime. Strains isolated in this study also showed multiple resistance to a range of antimicrobial agents. Transfer to a nalidixic acid resistant laboratory strain of E. coli UB5201 was attempted, but transfer of the ceftazidime resistance determinant was only successful in 25 isolates (31%). Examination of plasmid DNA revealed sequences in each isolate that hybridised with the TEM beta-lactamase gene probe used on a variety of plasmids ranging in size from 2.5- > 150 kb, sometimes found on several replicons in a single isolate. The TEM gene probe also hybridised with chromosomal DNA in a large number of isolates. Nucleotide sequence analysis demonstrated the presence of three extended-spectrum beta-lactamases: TEM-10B produced by two isolates, TEM-12B produced by 37 isolates and TEM-26B produced by 40 isolates. In two cases, isolates produced two beta-lactamases, and it proved impossible to identify these enzymes unequivocally. The genes encoding TEM-10B and TEM-26B both differ from TEM-12B by single nucleotide substitutions. Analysis of the ribotype patterns derived from the clinical isolates provided evidence for cross-colonisation between patients, and this was confirmed by analysis of the plasmid profiles. Four years after discontinuing ceftazidime and other extended-spectrum cephalosporins on this ward, patients were still colonised with bacteria that produced extended-spectrum beta-lactamases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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