Objectives: We studied eight imipenem-resistant isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae involved in an outbreak in a French teaching hospital.
Methods: The eight isolates were recovered from clinical specimens or rectal swabs. Antibiotic susceptibilities were determined using standard agar diffusion and dilution methods including synergy tests. PFGE was used to study the relatedness of isolates. Genes encoding beta-lactamases were characterized by transfer assays, specific amplification and cloning.
Results: The eight isolates were closely related by PFGE analysis and highly related to a K. pneumoniae strain from Greece. They were highly resistant to beta-lactams, including aztreonam and imipenem (MIC > or =32 mg/L), and were positive by the imipenem-EDTA disc synergy test. Isolates were also resistant to aminoglycosides, newer quinolones and sulfamethoxazole, and showed an intermediate level of resistance to tetracycline. VIM-1 and SHV-5 beta-lactamases were revealed in all isolates by PCR. The analysis of plasmid contents of Escherichia coli DH10B electroporants expressing the VIM-1 beta-lactamase or the SHV-5 beta-lactamase confirmed that the two enzymes were coded by two different plasmids. The bla(VIM-1) gene was part of a class 1 integron that also included aac6, dhfrI and aadA genes and was similar to those reported from strains isolated in Greece.
Conclusions: This study confirms the potential risk of spread of multiresistant bacteria with international transfer of patients.