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Molecular characterisation of the multi-antibiotic resistant bacteria, Klebsiella Pneumoniae isolated from nosocomial infections
Background: It is well established that Klebsiella pneumoniae (K. pneumoniae) is an opportunistic pathogenic organism that has been frequently identified as the cause of nosocomial and community acquired infections. Furthermore, studies have shown that over the last few decades strains of the genus Klebsiella have systematically developed resistance to numerous antibiotics. Aims and Methods: The primary aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of K. pneumoniae in nosocomial and community isolates in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Various identification techniques such as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using the API 20 E, the VITEK®2 system, primers specific for the 16S-23S rDNA ITS region and the Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) were compared for the identification of this pathogen. The VITEK 2 system was used to detect antibiotic resistant profiles of the K. pneumoniae isolates and to identify the extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) phenotypic among these isolates. The PCR was used to detect Beta-lactam genes viz. CTX-M (blaCTX-M), TEM (blaTEM) and SHV (blaSHV) respectively in both the genome and plasmid DNA of K. pneumoniae using gene specific primers. Results: In total 57 agar plate bacterial cultures or glycerol stock bacterial cultures were obtained during 2011. Of the 57 isolates, the API 20 E test identified 47 (82.5%) of the isolates (n = 57) as K. pneumoniae while 10 isolates (17.5%) were identified as Raoultella species. The VITEK 2 method and PCR identified all 57 isolates as K. pneumoniae (100%). Of the isolates, 82.5% (47/57) were positively identified as Klebsiella species, 14% (8/57) were identified as Klebsiella variicola and 3.5% (2/57) were shown as no reliable identification (NRI) when using the MALDI-TOF MS. Examination of the 57 isolates using primers specific for the CTX-M (blaCTX-M), TEM (blaTEM) and SHV (blaSHV) respectively showed the following: PCR amplicons for the TEM gene were produced successfully for 46 (81%) of the 57 isolates included in this project, while 11 (19%) of the samples did not yield any TEM amplicons; PCR amplicons for the blaSHV gene were obtained successfully for 56 (98%) of the 57 DNA samples, while 1 sample (2%) did not yield any SHV amplicons; and PCR amplicons for the blaCTX-M gene were produced successfully by 89% (n = 51) of the DNA samples included in this project, while 11% (n = 6) did not yield any CTX-M amplicon. Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase phenotypes had been confirmed in 84% (n = 48) K. pneumoniae isolates while nine isolates were found to be non-ESBL. Resistance rates for these 48 isolates were high and showed resistance patterns of: Amoxicillin/Ampicillin, Amoxycillin/Clavulanate, Ceftriaxone/Cefotaxime, Cefuroxime/Cefprozil and Ceftazidime (100%, n = 48); Piperacillin/Tazobactam and Cefoxitin (98%, 47/48); Cefepime (96%, 46/48); Aztreonam (94%; 45/48); Tobramycin (81%, 39/48); Gentamycin and Ciprofloxacin (77%, 37/48); Trimethoprim/Sulfamethoxazole (67%, 32/48); and Tigecycline (25% 12/48). Conclusion: For the analysis by all four methods employed, a total agreement of 68.4% was obtained, indicating the positive identification of K. pneumoniae in 39 of the 57 samples analysed. An average agreement of 28.1% was then obtained for the comparison of results generated for three of the methods utilised, while a 3.5% average agreement was obtained for at least two methods. Furthermore, all four methods agreed that 82.5% of the isolates were Klebsiella species while three methods agreed that 17.5% of the isolates were Klebsiella species. Based on the results obtained in the current study, PCR and VITEK 2 were the methods of choice for the identification of K. pneumoniae. The current study also showed, that ESBL-K. pneumoniae strains are present in the Western Cape province, South Africa; with high resistance profiles to numerous antibiotics including the Cephalosporins.