Trends in the molecular epidemiology of carbapenem resistant acinetobacter baumannii in a tertiary Greek hospital

Hippokratia 2011; 15 (4):343-345

V. Koulourida, E. Martziou, K. Tsergouli, A. Papa


Background: Acinetobacter baumannii is responsible for a variety of nosocomial infections, especially in intensive care unit patients. Nosocomial outbreaks due to carbapenem resistant A. baumannii strains have been reported in many countries, including Greece. The aim of the present study was to determine the trends of molecular epidemiology of carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii isolates in a 750-bed hospital in Thessaloniki, Greece, during 2009.
Methods: The study included 39 carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii isolates collected from patients hospitalized in the General Hospital Papageorgiou during 2009. They were tested for the presence of Ambler class D carbapenemases and class 1 integrons, and they were typed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis.
Results: The blaOXA-58 gene was detected in all A. baumannii isolates. Among the 39 isolates, 18 were carrying a 2.2 kb integron, 18 were carrying a 2.5 kb integron, and 3 isolates had no class 1 integrons. Two different clones, each divided further into two subclones, were observed. Comparing the clones detected in 2009 with those of former years (2001- 2008), a significant difference was observed: three clones have disappeared, two clones continued to circulate in the hospital, while a new subclone emerged in February 2009.
Conclusions: A change was seen in the molecular epidemiology of carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii isolates during 2009. Molecular epidemiology studies provide useful data for the distribution of resistant bacteria in order to design effective prevention and control measures.