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Occurrence of clinical isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae harboring chromosomally mediated and plasmid-mediated CTX-M-15 β-lactamase in a Tunisian hospital

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The spread of multidrug-resistant strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae in hospitals is of concern to clinical microbiologists, health care professionals, and physicians because of the impact infections caused by these bacteria have in causing morbidity and mortality. Clinical isolates of K. pneumoniae have been found to show resistance to third-generation cephalosporins as a result of acquiring extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing genes, such as bla CTX-M. Since little is known about the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance observed in Kasserine hospital, Tunisia, this study was undertaken to investigate the mechanisms by which clinical isolates of K. pneumoniae resist β-lactam antibiotics. Twelve strains of K. pneumoniae were collected from patients admitted to Kasserine hospital; these isolates showed multiresistance phenotypes. Molecular genetics investigations using polymerase chain reaction, S1 digestion, and pulsed-field gel electrophoresisshowed that bla CTX-M-15 in association with ISEcp1 is responsible for the resistance of these strains to third-generation cephalosporins. It has been determined that bla CTX-M-15 is chromosomally mediated and plasmid mediated, which alarming need for infection control to prevent the outbreak of such a resistance mechanism.

Keywords: BLSE; ESBL; ISEcp1; Klebsiella pneumoniae; Tunisia; Tunisie; blaCTX-M-15; extended-spectrum β-lactamase; β-lactamases à spectre étendu

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Environmental Health, Faculty of Public Health, Benghazi University, Benghazi, Libya. 2: Université de Carthage, Institut Supérieur des Sciences et Technologies de l’Environnement de Borj-Cedria, Technopôle de Borj-Cedria, B.P. 1003, Hammam-Lif 2050, Tunisie. 3: Laboratoire de Bactériologie, Hôpital Régionale de Kasserine, 1200 Kasserine, Tunisia. 4: Department of Infection, Immunity & Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Cardiff, CF14 4XN, UK.

Publication date: September 1, 2012

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  • Published since 1954, this monthly journal contains new research in the field of microbiology including applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology. It also publishes review articles and notes on an occasional basis, contributed by recognized scientists worldwide.
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