Antimicrobial susceptibility profiles and prevalence of ESBLS among E.coli isolates recovered from people working in hospitality industry within Nairobi, Kenya

  • A.O. Juma
  • C Ngugi
  • J Kiiru


Objective: To determine the antimicrobial susceptibility profiles with key focus on ESBL-producing E.coli strains isolated from participants working in the hospitality industry in Nairobi, Kenya

Study design: A cross sectional descriptive study.

Setting: Centre for Microbiology Research at Kenya Medical Research Institute, Nairobi.

Subjects: A total of 323 food-handlers working within Nairobi County were recruited.

Results: High resistances were recorded for Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim (70%), Ampicillin (44.6%), Streptomycin (42%) and Tetracyclines (41%) while Imipenem and Cefepime were effective against 99% of the isolates. A third of all isolates were multidrug resistant. The prevalence of ESBLs was 3.4% while CMT, IRT and pAmpC-phenotypes accounted for <2%. About 1% of the ESBL-producers were also resistant to ciprofloxacin and gentamicin. The blaTEM accounted for 37%, blaSHV (25%), blaCTX-M (12%) and blaOXA-1 gene (7%). Majority of MDR strains were obtained from young individuals working in middle class hotels. Genetic relatedness of the MDR isolates was apparently influenced by the resistance profiles, hotel type and clinical characteristics.

Conclusion: This study revealed that apparently healthy people working in the hospitality industry carry MDR E. coli that could potentially be transmitted to the general public. Infections by such strains could result in limited treatment options increasing the chances of patient mortality. Therefore, there is need to contain the spread of such strains through promotion of rational use of antimicrobials, proper
hygiene and certification of food handlers based on proper laboratory investigations.


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eISSN: 0012-835X