Journal Article

Nosocomial outbreak by <i>Proteus mirabilis</i> producing extended-spectrum β-lactamase VEB-1 in a Korean university hospital

Ja-Young Kim, Yeon-Joon Park, Sang-Il Kim, Moon Won Kang, Seung-Ok Lee and Kyo-Young Lee

in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Published on behalf of British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Volume 54, issue 6, pages 1144-1147
Published in print December 2004 | ISSN: 0305-7453
Published online December 2004 | e-ISSN: 1460-2091 | DOI:
Nosocomial outbreak by Proteus mirabilis producing extended-spectrum β-lactamase VEB-1 in a Korean university hospital

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  • Medical Oncology
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Objectives: To examine the molecular mechanisms involved in the β-lactam resistance of multidrug-resistant Proteus mirabilis isolates that showed an unusual synergy between imipenem and ceftazidime in a Korean hospital.

Methods: Over an 11 month period, a total of 12 P. mirabilis isolates showing resistance to ampicillin, gentamicin, ceftazidime, cefotaxime, cefuroxime, cefalothin, cefepime, piperacillin, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole and ciprofloxacin, were recovered from the sputum and urine specimens of nine patients who were hospitalized in the neurosurgery ward. The extended-spectrum β-lactamases were screened with a double disc synergy test using ceftazidime, cefotaxime, aztreonam, cefepime and clavulanate. The ESBL types were determined by PCR using specific primers for blaTEM-1, blaSHV-1, blaCTX-M-1, blaCTX-M-2, blaCTX-M-8, blaCTX-M-9, blaPER-1, blaGES-1, blaVEB-1, blaOXA-10 and blaOXA-13 followed by sequencing. All the isolates underwent molecular typing by PFGE. The transferability was examined by conjugation.

Results and conclusions: All the isolates showed a marked synergy between the extended-spectrum cephalosporins and clavulanate together with an unusual synergy between cefoxitin and the cephalosporins (cefalothin, cefuroxime, ceftazidime, cefotaxime) and between imipenem, and ceftazidime and cefotaxime. Isoelectric focusing of the crude bacterial extracts showed a β-lactamase band with a pI value of 5.4, which was inhibited by clavulanate. PCR and sequencing identified the gene to be blaVEB-1. In addition, the aadB gene was detected, conferring aminoglycoside resistance. The resistance was not transferred by conjugation. The outbreak was of a clonal origin as shown by PFGE demonstrating an identical banding pattern. This is the first report of VEB-1-producing Enterobacteriaceae in Korea.

Keywords: P. mirabilis; ESBLs; β-lactam resistance; multidrug-resistant

Journal Article.  1896 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Oncology ; Critical Care

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