Journal Article

Integration of Molecular Characterization of Microorganisms in a Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Program

M. A. Pfaller, J. Acar, R. N. Jones, J. Verhoef, J. Turnidge and H. S. Sader

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 32, issue Supplement_2, pages S156-S167
Published in print May 2001 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online May 2001 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/320187
Integration of Molecular Characterization of Microorganisms in a Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Program

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The SENTRY Antimicrobial Surveillance Program has incorporated molecular strain typing and resistance genotyping as a means of providing additional information that may be useful for understanding pathogenic microorganisms worldwide. Resistance phenotypes of interest include multidrug-resistant pathogens, extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Enterobacteriaceae, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci, and fluoroquinolone-resistant (FQR) strains of gram-negative bacilli and Streptococcus pneumoniae. Clusters of ⩾2 isolates within a given resistance profile that are linked temporally and by hospital location are flagged for DNA fingerprinting. Further characterization of organisms with respect to resistance genotype is accomplished with use of polymerase chain reaction and DNA sequencing. This process has been highly successful in identifying clonal spread within clusters of multiresistant pathogens. Between 50% and 90% of MRSA clusters identified by phenotypic screening contained evidence of clonal spread. Among the Enterobacteriaceae, ESBL-producing strains of Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae are the most common pathogens causing clusters of infection, and ∼50% of recognized clusters demonstrate clonal spread. Clusters of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter species, and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia have been noted with clonal spread among patients with urinary tract, respiratory, and bloodstream infections. Characterization of mutations in the FQR-determining region of phenotypically susceptible isolates of E. coli and S. pneumoniae has identified first-stage mutants among as many as 40% of isolates. The ability to characterize organisms phenotypically and genotypically is extremely powerful and provides unique information that is important in a global antimicrobial surveillance program.

Journal Article.  5401 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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