OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to determine the occurrence of chromosomal and plasmid-mediated β-lactamases (AmpC) genes in a collection of Malaysian isolates of Enterobacter species. Several phenotypic tests for detection of AmpC production of Enterobacter spp. were evaluated and the agreements between tests were determined.
METHODS: Antimicrobial susceptibility profiles for 117 Enterobacter clinical isolates obtained from the Medical Microbiology Diagnostic Laboratory, University Malaya Medical Centre, Malaysia, from November 2012-February 2014 were determined in accordance to CLSI guidelines. AmpC genes were detected using a multiplex PCR assay targeting the MIR/ACT gene (closely related to chromosomal EBC family gene) and other plasmid-mediated genes, including DHA, MOX, CMY, ACC, and FOX. The AmpC β-lactamase production of the isolates was assessed using cefoxitin disk screening test, D69C AmpC detection set, cefoxitin-cloxacillin double disk synergy test (CC-DDS) and AmpC induction test.
RESULTS: Among the Enterobacter isolates in this study, 39.3% were resistant to cefotaxime and ceftriaxone and 23.9% were resistant to ceftazidime. Ten (8.5%) of the isolates were resistant to cefepime, and one isolate was resistant to meropenem. Chromosomal EBC family gene was amplified from 36 (47.4%) E. cloacae and three (25%) E. asburiae. A novel blaDHA type plasmid-mediated AmpC gene was identified for the first time from an E. cloacae isolate. AmpC β-lactamase production was detected in 99 (89.2%) of 111 potential AmpC β-lactamase producers (positive in cefoxitin disk screening) using D69C AmpC detection set. The detection rates were lower with CC-DDS (80.2%) and AmpC induction tests (50.5%). There was low agreement between the D69C AmpC detection set and the other two phenotypic tests. Of the 40 isolates with AmpC genes detected in this study, 87.5%, 77.5% and 50.0% of these isolates were positive by the D69C AmpC detection set, CC-DDS and AmpC induction tests, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Besides MIR/ACT gene, a novel plasmid-mediated AmpC gene belonging to the DHA-type was identified in this study. Low agreement was noted between the D69C AmpC detection set and two other phenotypic tests for detection of AmpC production in Enterobacter spp. As plasmid-mediated genes may serve as the reservoir for the emergence of antibiotic resistance in a clinical setting, surveillance and infection control measures are necessary to limit the spread of these genes in the hospital.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.