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Failure to control an outbreak of qnrA1-positive multidrug-resistant Enterobacter cloacae infection despite adequate implementation of recommended infection control measures

, : Failure to control an outbreak of qnrA1-positive multidrug-resistant Enterobacter cloacae infection despite adequate implementation of recommended infection control measures. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 45(5): 1420-1425

A large outbreak with an aminoglycoside-resistant Enterobacter cloacae (AREC) clone occurred at the University Medical Center Utrecht beginning in 2001 and continued up through the time that this study was completed. This clone (genotype I) contains a conjugative R plasmid carrying the qnrA1, bla(CTX-M-9), and aadB genes, encoding resistance to quinolones, extended-spectrum beta-lactamases, and aminoglycosides, respectively. The aim of this study was to determine whether this clone was more transmissible than other AREC strains. Therefore, the dissemination of this genotype and of other E. cloacae strains was studied. In addition, infection control measures taken were evaluated. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis analysis divided the 191 AREC strains into 42 different genotypes, of which 5 (12%) involved at least three patients. Aside from this outbreak (133 patients), only two other small outbreaks occurred, showing that the infection control measures were successful for all strains but one. Among 324 aminoglycoside-susceptible E. cloacae strains, 34/166 (20%) genotypes were identified from at least three patients, but only 4 involved small outbreaks. The outbreak strain was also detected in 11 of 15 other Dutch hospitals and caused outbreaks in at least 4. Evaluation of infection control measures showed that the outbreak strain disseminated throughout the hospital despite adequate implementation of internationally accepted guidelines on the control of multidrug-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (MRE). In conclusion, some MRE strains are better able to spread than others, and these strains may not be controlled by the current infection control guidelines. Strategies to identify such strains in an early phase and adapted guidelines for such "superbugs" are needed to prevent these clones from becoming endemic.


PMID: 17314218

DOI: 10.1128/JCM.02242-06

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