Epidemiological study by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of an outbreak of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae in a geriatric hospital.J Clin Microbiol. 1994 Feb; 32(2):301-5.JC
Twelve cases of infections caused by extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBla)-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae were reported between August 1991 and March 1993 in the Geriatric Department of the Nimes University Hospital, where these bacterial had not been previously isolated. Restriction profiles of total genomic DNAs cleaved by XbaI and SpeI were compared by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. The strains that were tested included the 12 isolates from K. pneumoniae-infected patients, strains recovered from rectal swabs of asymptomatic patients in the same ward, and strains isolated in other hospitals in Nîmes at the same time. The restriction profiles of the 12 isolates and those recovered from asymptomatic patients in the same ward were very similar. Over a period of more than 1 year, extended-spectrum beta-lactamases were not detected in K. pneumoniae isolates with restriction patterns different from that of the epidemic strain. It seems, therefore, that there was no transfer of a plasmid or a gene coding for ESBla to strains of K. pneumoniae that were different from the epidemic strain. At the same time, ESBla-producing K. pneumoniae isolates exhibiting restriction endonuclease profiles very different from that of the epidemic strain were isolated from other hospitals in Nîmes. None of these strains caused an outbreak. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, which allows precise characterization of strains beyond the species level, is a useful tool for studying the ESBla-producing K. pneumoniae strains involved in nosocomial outbreaks.