Send to

Choose Destination
Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2004 Feb;48(2):533-7.

Epidemiology of conjugative plasmid-mediated AmpC beta-lactamases in the United States.

Author information

Lahey Clinic, Burlington, and Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital, Bedford, Massachusetts, USA.


A sample of 752 resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae, Klebsiella oxytoca, and Escherichia coli strains from 70 sites in 25 U.S. states and the District of Columbia was examined for transmissibility of resistance to ceftazidime and the nature of the plasmid-mediated beta-lactamase involved. Fifty-nine percent of the K. pneumoniae, 24% of the K. oxytoca, and 44% of the E. coli isolates transferred resistance to ceftazidime. Plasmids encoding AmpC-type beta-lactamase were found in 8.5% of the K. pneumoniae samples, 6.9% of the K. oxytoca samples, and 4% of the E. coli samples, at 20 of the 70 sites and in 10 of the 25 states. ACT-1 beta-lactamase was found at eight sites, four of which were near New York City, where the ACT-1 enzyme was first discovered; ACT-1 beta-lactamase was also found in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. FOX-5 beta-lactamase was also found at eight sites, mainly in southeastern states but also in New York. Two E. coli strains produced CMY-2, and one K. pneumoniae strain produced DHA-1 beta-lactamase. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and plasmid analysis suggested that AmpC-mediated resistance spread both by strain and plasmid dissemination. All AmpC beta-lactamase-containing isolates were resistant to cefoxitin, but so were 11% of strains containing transmissible SHV- and TEM-type extended-spectrum beta-lactamases. A beta-lactamase inhibitor test was helpful in distinguishing the two types of resistance but was not definitive since 24% of clinical isolates producing AmpC beta-lactamase had a positive response to clavulanic acid. Coexistence of AmpC and extended-spectrum beta-lactamases was the main reason for these discrepancies. Plasmid-mediated AmpC-type enzymes are thus responsible for an appreciable fraction of resistance in clinical isolates of Klebsiella spp. and E. coli, are disseminated around the United States, and are not so easily distinguished from other enzymes that mediate resistance to oxyimino-beta-lactams.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center