Intercontinental spread of OXA-48 beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae over a 11-year period, 2001 to 2011

Euro Surveill. 2013 Aug 1;18(31):20549. doi: 10.2807/1560-7917.es2013.18.31.20549.


OXA-48 beta-lactamase producers are emerging as an important threat mostly in the Mediterranean area. We report here the molecular epidemiology of a collection of OXA-48 beta-lactamase-positive enterobacterial isolates (n=107) recovered from European and north-African countries between January 2001 and December 2011. This collection included 67 Klebsiella pneumoniae, 24 Escherichia coli and 10 Enterobacter cloacae. Using the EUCAST breakpoints, ninety-eight isolates (91.6%) were of intermediate susceptibility or resistant to ertapenem, whereas 66% remained susceptible to imipenem. Seventy-five per cent of the isolates co-produced an extended-spectrum beta-lactamase, most frequently CTX-M-15 (77.5%). Susceptibility testing to non-beta-lactam antibiotics showed that colistin, tigecycline, amikacin, and fosfomycin remain active against most of the isolates. Multilocus sequence typing indicated that the most common sequence types (ST) were ST101 and ST38 for K. pneumoniae and E. coli, respectively. The bla(OXA-48) gene was located on a 62 kb IncL/M plasmid in 92.5% of the isolates, indicating that a single plasmid was mainly responsible for the spread of that gene. In addition, this study identified multiple cases of importation of OXA-48 beta-lactamase producers at least in Europe, and spread of OXA-48 beta-lactamase producers giving rise to an endemic situation, at least in France.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Carbapenems
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial / genetics
  • Electrophoresis, Agar Gel
  • Enterobacteriaceae / drug effects
  • Enterobacteriaceae / genetics
  • Enterobacteriaceae / isolation & purification*
  • Enterobacteriaceae Infections / epidemiology*
  • Enterobacteriaceae Infections / genetics
  • Enterobacteriaceae Infections / microbiology
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / drug effects
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / enzymology
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / genetics*
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / isolation & purification
  • Plasmids
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • beta-Lactamases / genetics
  • beta-Lactamases / metabolism*


  • Carbapenems
  • beta-Lactamases
  • oxacillinase