African Health Sciences

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Dissemination and genetic support of broad-spectrum beta-lactam-resistant Escherichia coli strain isolated from two Tunisian hospitals during 2004-2012

Khaoula Ayari, Amel Bourouis, Hela Chihi, Sihem Mahrouki, Thierry Naas, Omrane Belhadj


Background: The dissemination of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing bacteria presented a great concern worldwide. Gram-negative organisms such as Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae are the most frequently isolated pathogens responsible for nosocomial infections.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate and to follow the emergence of resistance and the characterization of Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamases (ESBL) among broad-spectrum beta-lactam-Escherichia coli clinical isolates recovered from the military hospital and Habib Thameur hospital in Tunisia.

Methods: A total of 113 E.coli isolates obtained during the period 2004 through 2012 showed a significant degree of multi-resistance. Among these strains, the double-disk synergy test confirmed the ESBL phenotype in 46 isolates. These included 32(70%) strains from Hospital A and 14(30%) from Hospital B.

Results: The ESBL was identified as CTX-M-15. The ESBL resistance was transferred by a 60 kb plasmid CTXM-15-producing isolates were unrelated according to the PFGE analysis and characterization of the regions surrounding the blaCTX-M-15 showed the ISEcp1 elements located in the upstream region of the bla gene and 20 of them truncated by IS26.

Conclusion: ESBL producing E. coli strains are a serious threat in the community in Tunisia and we should take into consideration any possible spread of such epidemiological resistance.

Keywords: CTX-M-15, diverse clones, ESBLs, Escherichia coli
AJOL African Journals Online