, Volume 56, Issue 2, pp 122-130
Date: 24 Mar 2011

Antibiotic resistance and molecular characterization of clinical isolates of methicillin-resistant coagulase-negative staphylococci isolated from bacteremic patients in oncohematology

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Abstract

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of antibiotic resistance genes as well as staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) typing and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) of SmaI macrorestriction fragments of genomic DNA were used to characterize 45 methicillin-resistant coagulase-negative staphylococci (MRCoNS) isolates responsible of bacteremia recovered in patients at the Bone Marrow Transplant Centre of Tunisia in 1998–2007. Among the 45 MRCoNS isolates, Staphylococcus epidermidis was the most prevalent species (75.6%) followed by Staphylococcus haemolyticus (22.2%) and Staphylococcus hominis (2.2%). Extended susceptibility profiles were generated for MRCoNS against 16 antimicrobial agents. Out of 45 mecA-positive strains, 43 (95.6%) were phenotypically methicillin-resistant and two (4.4%) were methicillin-susceptible. The msr(A) was the most prevalent gene (13 isolates; 48.1%) among erythromycin-resistant isolates. The erm(C) was found alone in seven (25.9%) or in combination with both erm(A) and erm(B) in two (7.4%) isolates. The aac(6′)-Ie-aph(2)-Ia was the most prevalent gene among aminoglycoside-resistant isolates, detected alone in 14 isolates (33.3%) isolates, in combination with ant(4′)-Ia in 18 (42.8%) isolates, in combination with aph(3′)-IIIa in four (9.5%) or with both ant(4′)-Ia and aph(3′)-IIIa in two (4.7%) isolates. The ant(4′)-Ia was detected in three (7.1%) isolates and the aph(3′)-IIIa in one (2.4%) isolate. Among tetracycline-resistant isolates, six (85.7%) strains harbored the tet(K) gene and one (14.3%) strain carried tet(K) and tet(M) genes. SCCmec types IV (31%) and III (24.5%), the most prevalent types detected, were found to be more resistant to non-β-lactam antibiotics. A wide diversity of isolates was observed by PFGE among MRCoNS.