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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2004 May;48(5):1520-5.

Variety of beta-lactamases produced by amoxicillin-clavulanate-resistant Escherichia coli isolated in the northeastern United States.

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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.


This study analyzed the enzymatic basis and molecular epidemiology of amoxicillin-clavulanate-resistant Escherichia coli isolated by the microbiology laboratory of a United States tertiary care hospital. From October 1998 to December 1999, all E. coli isolates were screened for ampicillin-sulbactam resistance. Of 283 isolates that tested resistant to ampicillin-sulbactam, 69 unique patient isolates were also resistant to amoxicillin-clavulanate by disk diffusion testing (zone diameter </= 13 mm). These amoxicillin-clavulanate-resistant E. coli isolates underwent agar dilution testing, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, PCR analysis, and isoelectric focusing. The mean age of study patients was 52 years; 78% were female. Among the isolates, 12 were nosocomial (rate of amoxicillin-clavulanate resistance = 4.7%) and 57 were community acquired (rate of amoxicillin-clavulanate resistance = 2.8%). No predominant strain was identified. By agar dilution testing, 67 isolates were nonsusceptible (39 resistant and 28 intermediate) to amoxicillin-clavulanate and 37 were piperacillin-tazobactam resistant but only 8 were ceftazidime resistant (ceftazidime MIC >/= 32 micro g/ml). Two isolates were susceptible to amoxicillin-clavulanic acid by agar dilution, although they were resistant by disk diffusion testing. The distribution of beta-lactamases was as follows: the TEM type alone was found in 52 isolates, the AmpC type was found in 4 isolates (2 identified as containing CMY-2), the TEM type and CMY-2 were found in 2 isolates, and the OXA type was found in 1 isolate. Also, there was one isolate with the TEM type and the SHV type and one with the TEM type and a second, unidentified enzyme. Among the isolates with TEM-type enzymes, two extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing isolates were identified but two isolates with inhibitor-resistant TEM (IRT) enzymes (one with TEM-34 [IRT-6] and the other with a novel enzyme [tentatively assigned the designation TEM-122]) were more interesting.

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