Countrywide spread of OXA-48 carbapenemase in Lebanon: surveillance and genetic characterization of carbapenem-non-susceptible Enterobacteriaceae in 10 hospitals over a one-year period

Int J Infect Dis. 2014 Dec:29:139-44. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2014.07.017. Epub 2014 Oct 24.


Objectives: To detect, characterize, and assess the genetic clonality of carbapenem-non-susceptible Enterobacteriaceae in 10 Lebanese hospitals in 2012.

Methods: Selected Enterobacteriaceae isolates with reduced susceptibility to carbapenems were subject to phenotypic study including antibiotic susceptibility, cloxacillin effect, modified Hodge test, and activity of efflux pump inhibitor. Carbapenemase genes were detected using PCR; clonal relatedness was studied by pulsed field gel electrophoresis.

Results: Out of 8717 Enterobacteriaceae isolated in 2012, 102 (1.2%) showed reduced susceptibility to carbapenems. Thirty-one (70%) of the 44 studied clinical isolates harbored blaOXA-48, including 15 Klebsiella pneumoniae, eight Escherichia coli, four Serratia marcescens, three Enterobacter cloacae, and one Morganella morganii. The majority of OXA-48 producers co-secreted an extended-spectrum beta-lactamase, while one had an acquired AmpC of the ACC type. In the non-OXA-48 producers, carbapenem resistance was attributed to the production of acquired AmpC cephalosporinases of MOX or CIT type, outer membrane impermeability, and/or efflux pump overproduction. DNA fingerprints revealed that OXA-48 producers were different, except for clonal relatedness among four K. pneumoniae, two E. coli, two E. cloacae, and three S. marcescens.

Conclusions: Nosocomial carbapenem-non-susceptible Enterobacteriaceae are moderately spread in Lebanon and the predominant mechanism is OXA-48 production.

Keywords: AmpC; Carbapenem resistance; Enterobacteriaceae; OXA-48.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics*
  • Carbapenems / pharmacology*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Enterobacteriaceae / drug effects*
  • Enterobacteriaceae / genetics
  • Enterobacteriaceae / isolation & purification
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / drug effects
  • Lebanon
  • beta-Lactamases / genetics*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Carbapenems
  • beta-Lactamases
  • carbapenemase