Objectives: To elucidate the causes for treatment failure in children given extended-spectrum cephalosporins.
Methods: During April 1998-March 2000, 18 isolates of members of the family Enterobacteriaceae, fulfilling microbiological criteria for carriage of extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs) and carrying blaSHV, were isolated from paediatric inpatients. The collection was subjected to a retrospective molecular analysis.
Results: Three species were represented in the collection: Citrobacter koseri (one isolate), Escherichia coli (one isolate) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (16 isolates). A common plasmid was found in these bacteria, as judged by restriction endonuclease digestion. This was able to transfer an ESBL phenotype from donors to a laboratory strain of E. coli. Nucleotide sequence analysis revealed that this phenotype was associated with a new variant in blaSHV encoding SHV-34.
Conclusions: Analysis reveals the presence of an epidemic plasmid in this collection of bacteria. This carries a gene encoding the SHV-34 ESBL, described for the first time in this report. Nucleotide sequence analysis shows that there is a mutation from A-->G affecting the codon at amino acid position 64 (GAA-->GGA), changing the glutamic acid typically seen in this position to glycine.