Molecular analysis and epidemiological typing of Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus outbreak strains.
ABSTRACT: Outbreaks of multidrug resistant bacteria including vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) in healthcare institutions are increasing in Norway, despite a low level of resistance compared to other European countries. In this study, we describe epidemiological relatedness of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium isolated during an outbreak at a Norwegian hospital in 2012-2013. During the outbreak, 9454 fecal samples were screened for VRE by culture and/or PCR. Isolates from 86 patients carrying the vanA resistance gene were characterized using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and single nucleotide polymorphism typing. PFGE revealed two main clusters, the first comprised 56 isolates related to an initial outbreak strain, and the second comprised 21 isolates originating from a later introduced strain, together causing two partly overlapping outbreaks. Nine isolates, including the index case were not related to the two outbreak clusters. In conclusion, the epidemiological analyses show that the outbreak was discovered by coincidence, and that infection control measures were successful. All typing methods identified the two outbreak clusters, and the experiment congruence between the MALDI-TOF and the PFGE clustering was 63.2%, with a strong correlation (r = 72.4%). Despite lower resolution compared to PFGE, MALDI-TOF may provide an efficient mean for real-time monitoring spread of infection.
Project description:Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE) has become an important health care-associated pathogen because of its rapid spread, limited therapeutic options, and possible transfer of vancomycin resistance to more-virulent pathogens. In this study, we compared the ability to detect clonal relationships among VRE isolates by an automated repetitive-sequence-based PCR (Rep-PCR) system (DiversiLab system) to pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), the reference method for molecular typing of VRE. Two sets of VRE isolates evaluated in this study were collected by active microbial surveillance at a large teaching hospital in Taiwan during 2008. The first set included 90 isolates randomly selected from the surveillance cohort. The first set consisted of 34 pulsotypes and 10 Rep-PCR types. There was good correlation between the two methods (P < 0.001). The second set included 68 VRE isolates collected from eight clusters of colonization. A dominant clone was detected in five out of eight clusters by both methods. Two clusters were characterized by Rep-PCR as being caused by a dominant clone, whereas PFGE showed polyclonal origins. One cluster was shown to be polyclonal by both methods. A single Rep-PCR clone type was detected among 12 of 14 vancomycin-intermediate enterococci, whereas PFGE detected six pulsotypes. In conclusion, the Rep-PCR method correlated well with PFGE typing but was less discriminative than PFGE in defining clonal relationships. The ease of use and more rapid turnaround time of Rep-PCR compared to PFGE offers a rapid screening method to detect outbreaks of VRE and more rapidly implement control measures. PFGE remains the preferred method to confirm clonal spread.
Project description:Clonal spread and horizontal transfer in the spread of vancomycin resistance genes were investigated. Multiplex PCR, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), hybridization of enterococcal plasmids with the vanA and vanB probes, and sequencing of a fragment of vanB were used in the analysis. Before May 1996, 12 vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE) isolates were found in Finland. Between May 1996 and October 1997, 156 VRE isolates were found in the Helsinki area. Between December 1997 and April 1998, fecal samples from 359 patients were cultured for VRE. One new case of colonization with VRE was found. During the outbreak period, 88% (137 of 155) of the VRE isolates belonged to two strains (VRE types I and II), as determined by PFGE. Each VRE type I isolate possessed vanB, and five isolates also had vanA. Of the 34 VRE type II isolates, 27 possessed vanA and 7 possessed vanB. Fifteen of 21 (71%) ampicillin-resistant, vancomycin-sensitive E. faecium (VSE) isolates found during and after the outbreak period in one ward were also of type II. Two VSE type II isolates were found in the hospital before the outbreak in 1995. By PFGE, the three groups (vanA, vanB, or no van gene) of type II shared the same band differences with the main type of VRE type II with vanA. None of the differences was specific to or determinative for any of the groups. Our material suggests that vanA and vanB incorporate into an endemic ampicillin-resistant VSE strain.
Project description:UNLABELLED: BACKGROUND: Vancomycin-resistant isolates of E. faecalis and E. faecium are of special concern and patients at risk of acquiring a VRE colonization/infection include also intensively-cared neonates. We describe here an ongoing high prevalence of VanB type E. faecium in a neonatal ICU hardly to identify by routine diagnostics. METHODS: During a 10?months' key period 71 E. faecium isolates including 67 vanB-type isolates from 61 patients were collected non-selectively. Vancomycin resistance was determined by different MIC methods (broth microdilution, Vitek® 2) including two Etest® protocols (McFarland 0.5/2.0. on Mueller-Hinton/Brain Heart Infusion agars). Performance of three chromogenic VRE agars to identify the vanB type outbreak VRE was evaluated (BrillianceTM VRE agar, chromIDTM VRE agar, CHROMagarTM VRE). Isolates were genotyped by SmaI- and CeuI-macrorestriction analysis in PFGE, plasmid profiling, vanB Southern hybridisations as well as MLST typing. RESULTS: Majority of vanB isolates (n?=?56, 79%) belonged to a single ST192 outbreak strain type showing an identical PFGE pattern and analyzed representative isolates revealed a chromosomal localization of a vanB2-Tn5382 cluster type. Vancomycin MICs in cation-adjusted MH broth revealed a susceptible value of ?4?mg/L for 31 (55%) of the 56 outbreak VRE isolates. Etest® vancomycin on MH and BHI agars revealed only two vanB VRE isolates with a susceptible result; in general Etest® MIC results were about 1 to 2 doubling dilutions higher than MICs assessed in broth and values after the 48?h readout were 0.5 to 1 doubling dilutions higher for vanB VRE. Of all vanB type VRE only three, three and two isolates did not grow on BrillianceTM VRE agar, chromIDTM VRE agar and CHROMagarTM VRE, respectively. Permanent cross contamination via the patients' surrounding appeared as a possible risk factor for permanent VRE colonization/infection. CONCLUSIONS: Low level expression of vanB resistance may complicate a proper routine diagnostics of vanB VRE and mask an ongoing high VRE prevalence. A high inoculum and growth on rich solid media showed the highest sensitivity in identifying vanB type resistance.
Project description:Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) are relevant nosocomial pathogens with an increasing incidence in the last decades. Their transmission is optimal in the hospital setting, as it offers two potential, large reservoirs that are closely related: susceptible patients and their environment. Here we investigate the role of the hospital environment in the nosocomial transmission of VRE by establishing concrete links between contaminated surfaces and colonized/infected patients in outbreak and non-outbreak settings. Environmental and patient VRE isolates were collected between 2013 and 2019 and analyzed by whole-genome sequencing (WGS), subsequent multilocus sequence typing (MLST), and core genome (cg) MLST. Pairs of isolates differing in <3 alleles were rated as closely related, making a transmission likely. Fifty-three environmental VRE isolates were analyzed. MLST sequence types (ST) ST203 (50.0%), ST192 (21.3%), ST117 (17.3%), ST721 (8.8%), ST80 (2%), and ST1489 (0.7%) were detected, carrying the resistance determinants vanA (72.7%), vanB (24%), or both (3.3%). Of the 53 environmental isolates, 51 were found to form five clusters with genetically related patient isolates (n = 97 isolates). WGS confirms the role of the environment in the transmission dynamics of VRE in both the outbreak and non-outbreak settings, highlighting the importance of prevention and control of VRE spread.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Antimicrobial resistance is a serious threat in veterinary medicine and human healthcare. Resistance genes can spread from animals, through the food-chain, and back to humans. Sewage sludge may act as the link back from humans to animals. The main aims of this study were to investigate the occurrence of vancomycin resistant enterococci (VRE) in treated sewage sludge, in a Swedish waste water treatment plant (WWTP), and to compare VRE isolates from sewage sludge with isolates from humans and chickens. METHODS: During a four month long study, sewage sludge was collected weekly and cultured for VRE. The VRE isolates from sewage sludge were analysed and compared to each other and to human and chicken VRE isolates by biochemical typing (PhenePlate), PFGE and antibiograms. RESULTS: Biochemical typing (PhenePlate-FS) and pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) revealed prevalence of specific VRE strains in sewage sludge for up to 16 weeks. No connection was found between the VRE strains isolated from sludge, chickens and humans, indicating that human VRE did not originate from Swedish chicken. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated widespread occurrence of VRE in sewage sludge in the studied WWTP. This implies a risk of antimicrobial resistance being spread to new farms and to the society via the environment if the sewage sludge is used on arable land.
Project description:Background:A number of episodes of nosocomial Agrobacterium spp. bacteremia (two cases per year) were observed at Bern University Hospital, Switzerland, from 2015 to 2017. This triggered an outbreak investigation. Methods:Cases of Agrobacterium spp. bacteremias that occurred between August 2011 and February 2017 were investigated employing line lists, environmental sampling, rapid protein- (MALDI-TOF MS), and genome-based typing (pulsed field gel electrophoresis and whole genome sequencing) of the clinical isolates. Results:We describe a total of eight bacteremia episodes due to A. radiobacter (n?=?2), Agrobacterium genomovar G3 (n?=?5) and A. pusense (n?=?1). Two tight clusters were observed by WGS typing, representing the two A. radiobacter isolates (cluster I, isolated in 2015) and four of the Agrobacterium genomovar G3 isolates (cluster II, isolated in 2016 and 2017), suggesting two different point sources. The epidemiological investigations revealed two computer tomography (CT) rooms as common patient locations, which correlated with the two outbreak clusters. MALDI-TOF MS permitted faster evaluation of strain relatedness than DNA-based methods. High resolution WGS-based typing confirmed the MALDI-TOF MS clustering. Conclusions:We report clinical and epidemiological characteristics of two outbreak clusters with Agrobacterium. spp. bacteremia likely acquired during CT contrast medium injection and highlight the use of MALDI-TOF MS as a rapid tool to assess relatedness of rare gram-negative pathogens in an outbreak investigation.
Project description:Background:Recognition of nosocomial outbreaks with antimicrobial resistant (AMR) pathogens and appropriate infection prevention measures are essential to limit the consequences of AMR pathogens to patients in hospitals. Because unrelated, but genetically similar AMR pathogens may circulate simultaneously, rapid high-resolution molecular typing methods are needed for outbreak management. We compared amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and whole genome sequencing (WGS) during a nosocomial outbreak of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE) that spanned 5?months. Methods:Hierarchical clustering of AFLP profiles was performed using unweighted pair-grouping and similarity coefficients were calculated with Pearson correlation. For WGS-analysis, core single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were used to calculate the pairwise distance between isolates, construct a maximum likelihood phylogeny and establish a cut-off for relatedness of epidemiologically linked VRE isolates. SNP-variations in the vanB gene cluster were compared to increase the comparative resolution. Technical replicates of 2 isolates were sequenced to determine the number of core-SNPs derived from random sequencing errors. Results:Of the 721 patients screened for VRE carriage, AFLP assigned isolates of 22 patients to the outbreak cluster. According to WGS, all 22 isolates belonged to ST117 but only 21 grouped in a tight phylogenetic cluster and carried vanB resistance gene clusters. Sequencing of technical replicates showed that 4-5 core-SNPs were derived by random sequencing errors. The cut-off for relatedness of epidemiologically linked VRE isolates was established at ?7 core-SNPs. The discrepant isolate was separated from the index isolate by 61 core-SNPs and the vanB gene cluster was absent. In AFLP analysis this discrepant isolate was indistinguishable from the other outbreak isolates, forming a cluster with 92% similarity (cut-off for identical isolates ?90%). The inclusion of the discrepant isolate in the outbreak resulted in the screening of 250 patients and quarantining of an entire ward. Conclusion:AFLP was a rapid and affordable screening tool for characterising hospital VRE outbreaks. For in-depth understanding of the outbreak WGS was needed. Compared to AFLP, WGS provided higher resolution typing of VRE isolates with implications for outbreak management.
Project description:VRE isolates from pigs (n = 29) and healthy persons (n = 12) recovered during wide surveillance studies performed in Portugal, Denmark, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States (1995 to 2008) were compared with outbreak/prevalent VRE clinical strains (n = 190; 23 countries; 1986 to 2009). Thirty clonally related Enterococcus faecium clonal complex 5 (CC5) isolates (17 sequence type 6 [ST6], 6 ST5, 5 ST185, 1 ST147, and 1 ST493) were obtained from feces of swine and healthy humans. This collection included isolates widespread among pigs of European Union (EU) countries since the mid-1990s. Each ST comprised isolates showing similar pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns (?6 bands difference; >82% similarity). Some CC5 PFGE subtype strains from swine were indistinguishable from hospital vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) causing infections. A truncated variant of Tn1546 (encoding resistance to vancomycin) and tcrB (coding for resistance to copper) were consistently located on 150- to 190-kb plasmids (rep(pLG1)). E. faecium CC17 (ST132) isolates from pig manure and two clinical samples showed identical PFGE profiles and contained a 60-kb mosaic plasmid (rep(Inc18) plus rep(pRUM)) carrying diverse Tn1546-IS1216 variants. The only Enterococcus faecalis isolate obtained from pigs (CC2-ST6) corresponded to a multidrug-resistant clone widely disseminated in hospitals in Italy, Portugal, and Spain, and both animal and human isolates harbored an indistinguishable 100-kb mosaic plasmid (rep(pRE25) plus rep(pCF10)) containing the whole Tn1546 backbone. The results indicate a current intra- and international spread of E. faecium and E. faecalis clones and their plasmids among swine and humans.
Project description:Our aim was to evaluate the performance of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS), routinely used in the microbiology laboratory for bacterial identification, for bacterial typing in the setting of extended spectrum beta-lactamase producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (ESBL-KP) outbreak in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Isolates from a 2011 outbreak in the NICU were retrieved from frozen stocks and analyzed by MALDI-TOF. The MALDI typing was compared with core genome multilocus sequence typing (cg-MLST). MALDI typing divided the 33 outbreak isolates into 2 clones: sequence type (ST)-290 and 405. These results were in complete agreement with cg-MLST results. The differentiation of the outbreak isolates into two clones correlated with the patients' location in the NICU, but also with their place of residence.Conclusion: Here, we show that MALDI-TOF MS, which has been integrated into the microbiology laboratory workflow for microbial species identification, can be secondarily used for epidemiological typing at no added cost.What is Known:• Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) is now routinely used in the microbiology laboratory for bacterial identificationWhat is New:• MALDI typing was used for outbreak investigation in the NICU and divided the outbreak isolates into two clones• MALDI-TOF MS may be secondarily used for epidemiological typing at no added cost.
Project description:Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) have recently become an increasing problem in hospitals in Poland, being responsible for a growing number of nosocomial outbreaks. In this work, we have analyzed the second outbreak of VRE with the VanB phenotype to be identified in the country. It was caused by clonal dissemination of a single strain of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis (VRES) and horizontal transmission of vancomycin resistance genes among several vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VREM) strains. Two similar restriction fragment length polymorphism types of the vanB gene cluster characterized VRES and VREM isolates, and they both contained the same vanB2 variant of the vanB gene. Two vancomycin-susceptible E. faecium (VSEM) isolates, recovered from the same wards during the outbreak, proved to be related to certain VREM isolates and could represent endemic strains that had acquired vancomycin resistance. One VSEM and four VREM isolates, all identified in the same patient, belonged to a single clone, although they revealed remarkable diversity in terms of susceptibility, PFGE patterns, plasmid content, and number of vanB gene cluster copies. Most probably they reflected the dynamic evolution of an E. faecium strain in the course of infection of a single patient. One of the VREM isolates turned out to be resistant to teicoplanin, which coincided with the use of this antibiotic in the patient's therapy. Its vanB gene variant differed by a single mutation from that found in other isolates; however, it also lacked a large part of the vanB gene cluster, including the regulatory genes vanR(B) and -S(B), and the vancomycin-inducible promoter P(YB). Expression of the resistance genes vanH(B), -B, and -X(B) was constitutive in the mutant, and this phenomenon was responsible for its unusual phenotype.