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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

OXA-181-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae establishing in Singapore

Michelle N D Balm*, Grace Ngan, Roland Jureen, Raymond T P Lin and Jeanette W P Teo

Author Affiliations

Department of Laboratory Medicine, National University Health System, 5 Lower Kent Ridge Road, Singapore, 119074, Singapore

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2013, 13:58  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-13-58

Published: 1 February 2013

Abstract

Background

Carbapenemase producing Enterobacteriaceae are becoming a major public health concern globally, however, relatively little is known about the molecular and clinical epidemiology of these organisms in many parts of the world.

Methods

As part of a laboratory surveillance programme, 96 carbapenem non-susceptible Enterobacteriaceae isolates from clinical samples from patients in seven hospitals were referred for investigation for carbapenemases. Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to screen for a collection of genes encoding carbapenemases, 33 of 96 (34.5%) isolates were confirmed as carbapenemase producers. NDM-1 producers were the most prevalent at 64% (21/33) whilst OXA-181 was the second most common carbapenemase constituting 24.5% (8/33) of the carbapenemase producing isolates. Seven of these eight OXA-181 positive isolates underwent further characterisation with screening for other transmissible antimicrobial resistance determinants using PCR. Clonal relatedness was explored using Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE). Plasmid characterisation was performed including restriction analysis and transfer by conjugation or transformation.

Results

In addition to the OXA-181 gene, all contained other transmissible resistance determinants including extended spectrum β-lactamases, oxacillinases or 16S rRNA methylase genes, but none contained metallo-β-lactamases or serine carbapenemases. All isolates had a multidrug resistant phenotype with two isolates being resistant to every antibiotic tested including colistin. Multilocus sequence typing confirmed five isolates belonged to ST17 and two to ST14, with those belonging to the same sequence type having identical PFGE profiles. The OXA-181 gene was typically carried on large plasmids which were mostly non-conjugative.

Conclusions

OXA-181 carbapenemase appears to be an important and probably under-recognised cause of carbapenem resistance in Enterobacteriaceae in Singapore. Further coordinated research into clinical and molecular epidemiology of carbapenemases is urgently required in Singapore and throughout Asia.

Keywords:
Gram negative resistance; Carbapenemases; Hospital associated infections; Beta-lactamases