[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The international project MOSAR was conducted in five rehabilitation centers; patients were screened for rectal carriage of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Enterobacteriaceae. Among 229 Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates four clonal groups (CG) or complexes (CC) prevailed: CG17 in France, CG101 in Italy, CG15 in Spain, and CC147 in Israel. ESBLs, mainly CTX-Ms, were produced by 226 isolates; three isolates expressed AmpC-like cephalosporinases. High genetic diversity of K. pneumoniae populations was observed, with specific characteristics at each center.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 02/2013; · 4.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The prospective project MOSAR was conducted in five rehabilitation units: BM (France), FS (Italy), GI (Spain), and LH and TA (Israel). Patients were screened for carriage of Enterobacteriaceae resistant to expanded-spectrum cephalosporins (ESCs) from admission until discharge. The aim of this study was to characterize clonal structure, and extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs) and acquired AmpC-like cephalosporinases in Escherichia coli populations collected. A total of 376 isolates were randomly selected. The overall number of sequence types (STs) was 76, including seven STs that grouped at least 10 isolates from at least three centers each, namely STs: 10, 38, 69, 131, 405, 410 and 648. These clones comprised 65.2% of all isolates, and ST131 alone - 41.2%. Of 54 STs observed only in one center, some STs played a locally significant role, like ST156 and ST393 in GI or ST372 and ST398 in TA. Among 16 new STs, five arose from the evolution within the ST10 and ST131 clonal complexes. ESBLs and AmpCs accounted for 94.7% and 5.6% of the ESC-hydrolyzing β-lactamases, respectively, being dominated by the CTX-M-like enzymes (79.9%), followed by SHV (13.5%) and CMY-2 (5.3%) types. CTX-M-15 was the most prevalent β-lactamase overall (40.6%); other ubiquitous enzymes were CTX-M-14 and CMY-2. Almost none of the common clones correlated strictly with one β-lactamase; although 58.7% of ST131 isolates produced CTX-M-15, the clone expressed also nine other enzymes. A number of clone variants with specific PFGE and ESBL types were spread in some locales, potentially representing newly emerging E. coli epidemic strains.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 10/2012; · 4.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Silver-impregnated central venous catheters (CVCs) have been proposed as a means for preventing CVC colonization and related bloodstream infections (CRBSIs).
To evaluate the efficacy of CVCs impregnated with silver nanoparticles in a large group of critically ill patients.
A prospective, randomized clinical trial was conducted in five intensive care units (ICUs). Three hundred and thirty-eight adult patients requiring CVCs between April 2006 and November 2008 were randomized to receive AgTive silver-nanoparticle-impregnated (SC) or conventional (CC) CVCs. Primary endpoints were CVC colonization (growth of ≥15 colony-forming units from the catheter tip) and incident CRBSIs (meeting the definitions of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Infection-free time (days from initial CVC insertion to initial blood culture positivity) and ICU mortality rates were measured as secondary endpoints.
The SC group (N = 135) and CC group (N = 137) were similar in terms of clinical and laboratory parameters at baseline, reasons for ICU admission, complications during CVC insertion, and total time with CVC (mean ± standard deviation; SC 13 ± 24 vs CC 15 ± 37 days). No significant intergroup differences were found in CVC colonization rates (SC 32.6% vs CC 30%; P = 0.7), CRBSI incidence rates (3.36 infections per 1000 catheter-days in both groups), infection-free times (SC 13 ± 34 vs CC 12 ± 12 days; P = 0.85) or ICU mortality (SC 46% vs CC 43%; P = 0.7).
In critically ill patients, use of AgTive(®) silver-nanoparticle-impregnated CVCs had no significant effect on CVC colonization, CRBSI incidence or ICU mortality. These CVCs cannot be recommended as an adjunctive tool for control of CRBSIs.
The Journal of hospital infection 08/2012; 82(2):101-7. · 3.01 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study aimed to determine the prevalence of and risk factors for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) carriage among patients newly admitted to rehabilitation centres. It is a prospective study examining MRSA carriage on admission to seven rehabilitation wards in four countries. Risk factors for MRSA carriage were analysed using univariate and multivariate analyses. A total of 1204 patients were studied. Among them, 105 (8.7%) had a positive admission MRSA screening result. The MRSA carriers were more likely to be male, to have had a recent stay in another long-term-care facility or >2 weeks acute-care hospital stay, history of colonization with MRSA, reduced level of consciousness, peripheral vascular disease and pressure sores. In multivariable logistic regression male gender (odds ratio (OR) 2.2, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.4-3.6, p 0.001), history of MRSA positivity (OR 6.8, 95% CI 3.8-12.3, p <0.001), peripheral vascular disease (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.2-5, p 0.013), recent stay in another long-term-care facility (OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.3-3.5, p 0.004), or long (>2 weeks) acute-care hospital stay (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.2-3, p 0.004), remained significant risk factors for MRSA carriage. MRSA carriage is common on admission to rehabilitation centres but less so, than previously described in long-term-care facilities. Male gender, history of MRSA positivity, previous hospitalization and peripheral vascular disease may predict MRSA carriage, and may serve as indicators for using pre-emptive infection control measures.
Clinical Microbiology and Infection 03/2012; 18(6):E164-9. · 4.58 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Endoscopic stenting is a palliative approach for the treatment of diseases involving biliary obstruction. Its major limitation is represented by stent occlusion, followed by life-threatening cholangitis, often requiring stent removal and replacement. Although it has been suggested that microbial colonization of biliary stents could play a role in the clogging process, the so far available data, particularly on the role of anaerobic bacteria, are not enough for a comprehensive description of this phenomenon. Our study was focused on the analysis of 28 explanted biliary stents by culturing, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and scanning electron microscopy to identify all the aerobic/anaerobic bacteria and fungi involved in the colonization of devices and to verify the ability of isolated anaerobic bacterial strains to form a biofilm in order to better understand the mechanisms of stent clogging.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In recent years the employment of implantable medical devices has increased remarkably, notwithstanding that microbial infections are a frequent complication associated with their use. Different strategies have been attempted to overcome this problem, including the incorporation of antimicrobial agents into the device itself. In this study a new approach to obtain intrinsically antimicrobial materials was developed. Polymer anionomers containing Ag(I), Cu(II), Zn(II), Al(III) and Fe(III) were prepared by neutralization of a carboxylated polyurethane. In the case of the PEUA-Ag, PEUA-Fe and PEUA-Cu ionomers the ion aggregates behaved as reinforcing filler particles, increasing the mechanical properties of the systems in terms of hardness and strength at break over the pristine carboxylated polymer. With the exception of the Al-containing polymer, all the other experimented ionomers showed satisfactory antimicrobial properties. The best antibacterial effect was obtained with the silver ion-containing polymer, which inhibited Staphylococcus epidermidis growth for up to 16days. Ciprofloxacin was also adsorbed onto the above mentioned ionomers. A synergistic effect of the antibiotic and silver ions on bacterial growth inhibition was observed for at least 25days.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Endoscopic stenting is a standard palliative approach for the treatment of a variety of diseases involving biliary obstruction. However, the major limitation of this approach is represented by stent occlusion followed by life-threatening cholangitis, often requiring stent removal and replacement with a new one. Although it is generally believed that microbial colonization of the inner surface of the stent plays an important role in initiating the clogging process, so far available data are not enough for a full understanding of this phenomenon. In fact, it is known that when a biliary stent is inserted across the sphincter of Oddi, the loss of the antimicrobial barrier represented by the sphincter itself and the low pressure in the common bile duct allow reflux of duodenal content, thus promoting an ascending microbial colonization. The sessile mode of growth and the exopolysaccharide production, which leads to the subsequent establishment of a thick biofilm, provides microorganisms with an efficient protection from both antibacterial agents and phagocytic cells. The aim of this study was to analyze the tridimensional structure of the microbial biofilm grown in the lumen of 15 clogged biliary stents and to identify the microbial species involved in the clogging process. Scanning electron microscopy investigations revealed that sludge present in the stent lumen consist of a rich and assorted microbial flora, including aerobic and anaerobic species, mixed with a large amount of amorphous material containing dietary fibres, crystals of cholesterol and other precipitates of bacteria-driven bile salts.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human infection with Aeromonas species is uncommon and most often due to trauma with exposure to contaminated water or soil. A 43-year-old HIV- and hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected male, after a two-week course of corticosteroid therapy for an autoimmune anemia, developed diarrhea, dermatologic manifestations and a multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, resulting in death. Although stool samples were repeatedly negative, two sets of blood cultures obtained during a single peak of fever yielded the post-mortem isolation of a Gram-negative, oxidase-positive, beta-hemolytic bacillus that was identified as Aeromonas sobria. Empiric antibiotic therapy was unsuccessful. Evaluation of the virulence-associated traits of the clinical isolate (adhesion, cytotoxicity activity, biofilm production) showed that the strain was a poor producer of recognized virulence factors, thereby indicating that the unfortunate coexistence of HIV infection, HCV-related liver cirrhosis and corticosteroids played a key role in the clinical course.
International journal of infectious diseases: IJID: official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases 11/2008; 13(3):e113-8. · 2.17 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Antibiotic therapies to eradicate medical device-associated infections often fail because of the ability of sessile bacteria, encased in their exopolysaccharide matrix, to be more drug resistant than planktonic organisms. In the last two decades, several strategies to prevent microbial adhesion and biofilm formation on the surfaces of medical devices, based mainly on the use of antiadhesive, antiseptic, and antibiotic coatings on polymer surfaces, have been developed. More recent alternative approaches are based on molecules able to interfere with quorum-sensing phenomena or to dissolve biofilms. Interestingly, a newly purified beta-N-acetylglucosaminidase, dispersin B, produced by the gram-negative periodontal pathogen Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, is able to dissolve mature biofilms produced by Staphylococcus epidermidis as well as some other bacterial species. Therefore, in this study, we developed new polymeric matrices able to bind dispersin B either alone or in combination with an antibiotic molecule, cefamandole nafate (CEF). We showed that our functionalized polyurethanes could adsorb a significant amount of dispersin B, which was able to exert its hydrolytic activity against the exopolysaccharide matrix produced by staphylococcal strains. When microbial biofilms were exposed to both dispersin B and CEF, a synergistic action became evident, thus characterizing these polymer-dispersin B-antibiotic systems as promising, highly effective tools for preventing bacterial colonization of medical devices.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 09/2007; 51(8):2733-40. · 4.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The study was undertaken to investigate vancomycin-resistant (vanA) Enterococcus faecalis isolates carrying aggregation substance (AS) gene(s) for their ability to co-transfer vanA and AS genes.
Six vanA clumping-positive E. faecalis isolates (five human and one food sample) carrying one or more AS genes (prgB, asa1, asa373) were analysed for co-transfer of vanA and AS genes to E. faecalis JH2-2 and Enterococcus faecium 64/3.
E. faecalis isolates harboured one or multiple plasmids carrying vanA, one or more AS gene(s) or both. vanA was transferred to JH2-2 (frequencies of 10(-3)-10(-6)) from all donors and to 64/3 (10(- 6)-10(- 8)) only from donors from humans. AS genes were detected in 51/60 (85%) of JH2-2 and in 20/50 (40%) of 64/3 vanA transconjugants (prgB, asa1, asa373 or prgB asa373), of which a total of 53.6% were clumping-positive. The plasmid content of JH2-2 transconjugants from the same donor was either identical to that of the donor or it was completely different, suggesting different mechanisms for co-transfer (location on the same pheromone plasmid, mobilization of vanA plasmids by the pheromone-inducible conjugation system, rearrangement of plasmid content during matings). After induction with pheromones, a marked increase in adhesion to Caco-2 cells was observed in four isolates and in some JH2-2 transconjugants, all clumping-positive.
Findings suggest that co-transfer of vanA and AS genes may be a common feature of E. faecalis isolates. Since AS is recognized as a virulence factor, this feature might contribute to the emergence of strains with enhanced ability to cause infection and disease in humans.
Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 06/2007; 59(5):1005-9. · 5.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: VanA-type human (n=69), animal (n=49), and food (n=36) glycopeptide-resistant enterococci (GRE) from different geographic areas were investigated to study their possible reservoirs and transmission routes. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) revealed two small genetically related clusters, M39 (n=4) and M49 (n=13), representing Enterococcus faecium isolates from animal and human feces and from clinical and fecal human samples. Multilocus sequence typing showed that both belonged to the epidemic lineage of CC17. purK allele analysis of 28 selected isolates revealed that type 1 was prevalent in human strains (8/11) and types 6 and 3 (14/15) were prevalent in poultry (animals and meat). One hundred and five of the 154 VanA GRE isolates, encompassing different species, origins, and PFGE types, were examined for Tn1546 type and location (plasmid or chromosome) and the incidence of virulence determinants. Hybridization of S1- and I-CeuI-digested total DNA revealed a plasmid location in 98% of the isolates. Human intestinal and animal E. faecium isolates bore large (>150 kb) vanA plasmids. Results of PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism and sequencing showed the presence of prototype Tn1546 in 80% of strains and the G-to-T mutation at position 8234 in three human intestinal and two pork E. faecium isolates. There were no significant associations (P>0.5) between Tn1546 type and GRE source or enterococcal species. Virulence determinants were detected in all reservoirs but were significantly more frequent (P<0.02) among clinical strains. Multiple determinants were found in clinical and meat Enterococcus faecalis isolates. The presence of indistinguishable vanA elements (mostly plasmid borne) and virulence determinants in different species and PFGE-diverse populations in the presence of host-specific purK housekeeping genes suggested that all GRE might be potential reservoirs of resistance determinants and virulence traits transferable to human-adapted clusters.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology 05/2007; 73(10):3307-19. · 3.95 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Endoscopic biliary stenting is today the most common palliative treatment for patients suffering from obstructive jaundice associated with malignant hepatobiliary tumors or benign strictures. However, recurrent jaundice, with or without cholangitis, is a major complication of a biliary endoprosthesis insertion. Thus, stent removal and replacement with a new one frequently occurs as a consequence of device blockage caused by microbial biofilm growth and biliary sludge accumulation in the lumen. Factors and mechanisms involved in plastic stent clogging arising from epidemiological, clinical and experimental data, as well as the possible strategies to prevent biliary stent failure, will be reviewed and discussed.
Clinical Medicine & Research 04/2007; 5(1):53-60.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Water is known as one of the main transmission routes of Campylobacter and contributes to increase the number of sporadic infections and outbreaks. Campylobacter jejuni persists in the environment, especially in water, in a viable but non-culturable (VBNC) form that is thought to be a possible cause of water-borne outbreaks. In this study, we evaluated the loss of culturability and viability of 9 C. jejuni strains of clinical origin and one ATCC reference strain when kept at 4 degrees C in artificial sea water (ASW). Culturability was measured as colony-forming units while viability was evaluated by CTC-DAPI double staining and the combined CTC-specific fluorescent antibody technique (CTC-FA). When cultured on Columbia Agar plates, strains exhibited different growth profiles which allowed to classify them into three different groups. Both techniques used to monitor the viability of the bacterial cells showed that C. jejuni strains survived in the VBNC form in the microcosms through a period lasting from 138 to 152 days. The recovery of C. jejuni VBNC forms to culturability, as evidenced by cell division, was obtained by passage in the mouse intestine. Our results indicate that C. jejuni VBNC cells were able to remain in this state for a few months and regain their culturability after in vivo passage depending on their lasting in the VBNC state, which affects the number of respiring bacteria. In fact, the resuscitation was achieved when the number of respiring bacteria became higher than 10(4) cell/ml. Therefore, a relatively high microbial titer of respiring bacteria in the VBNC state seems to be important for the resuscitation and subsequent intestinal colonisation.
International Journal of Food Microbiology 04/2006; 107(1):83-91. · 3.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As a preventive strategy to inhibit fungal biofilm formation on medical devices, we planned experiments based on polyurethane loading with fluconazole plus pore-former agents in order to obtain a promoted release of the antifungal drug.
Different functional groups including carboxyl, hydroxyl, primary and tertiary amino groups, were introduced in polyurethanes. Fluconazole was adsorbed in higher amounts by the most hydrophilic polymers and its release was influenced by the degree of polymer swelling in water. The entrapping in the polymer of polyethylenglycol as a pore former significantly improved the fluconazole release while the entrapping of the higher molecular weight porogen albumin resulted in a controlled drug release and in an improved antifungal activity over time.
Among the tested in vitro models, best results were achieved with an hydrophobic polymer impregnated with 25% (w/w) albumin and fluconazole which inhibited Candida albicans growth and biofilm formation on polymeric surfaces up to 8 days.
The combined entrapping in polymers of pore formers and an antifungal drug and the consequent controlled release over time is a novel, promising approach in the development of medical devices refractory to fungal colonization.
Journal of Applied Microbiology 04/2006; 100(3):615-22. · 2.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bile-resistant bacteria, particularly gram-positive Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium, play an important role in biliary stent occlusion, because their sessile mode of growth protects them against host defenses and antimicrobial agents. Twelve E. faecalis and seven E. faecium strains isolated from occluded biliary stents have been investigated for slime production, presence of aggregation substance genes, and ability to adhere to Caco-2 cells. Ten isolates were strong producers of slime, and seven isolates produced clumps when exposed to pheromones of E. faecalis JH2-2 and/or OG1RF. The small E. faecium clumps differed from the large clumps of E. faecalis and were similar to those of E. faecium LS10(pBRG1) carrying a pheromone response plasmid. After induction with pheromones, the adhesion to Caco-2 cells of clumping-positive strains was found to increase from two- to fourfold. Amplicons of the expected size were detected in three clumping-positive and three clumping-negative E. faecalis isolates by using primers (agg) internal to a highly conserved region of the E. faecalis pheromone response plasmids pAD1, pPD1, and pCF10 and primers internal to prgB of the E. faecalis plasmid pCF10. The agg/prgB-positive E. faecalis strains were also positive in Southern hybridization experiments with a prgB-specific probe. No PCR products were obtained with the same primers from four clumping-positive isolates (one E. faecalis and three E. faecium strains), which were also Southern hybridization negative. Our results demonstrate that slime production and pheromone response are both present in isolated enterococci, suggesting that clinical strains with these features might have a selective advantage in colonizing biliary stents.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology 09/2004; 42(8):3419-27. · 4.07 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Enterococci are gram-positive bacteria that are part of the normal human intestinal flora and can colonize the upper respiratory tract, biliary tract and vagina of otherwise healthy people. Although their virulence is relatively low, recently enterococci have emerged as significant nosocomial pathogens and are currently the 4th leading cause of hospital-acquired infections, including those associated with intravascular catheter and biliary stent implants. The frequent use of these medical devices is often associated with severe complications, including catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSIs) and biliary stent occlusions, because of microbial biofilm formation on the device surface. Furthermore, other than a high level of resistance to penicillin, ampicillin and aminoglycosides, a dramatic increase in vancomycin resistance of enterococci has been recently observed in most clinical settings. Clinical strains exhibiting novel mechanisms of acquired resistance to antimicrobials are frequently isolated. In addition, enterococci have a great ability to transmit these resistance traits to other species and even to other genera. Due to their associated morbidity and mortality, enterococcal infections related to medical devices currently represent a major challenge for clinicians, especially for the management of critically ill patients, resulting in prolonged hospitalization and additional health costs.
The journal of vascular access 01/2004; 5(1):3-9. · 1.02 Impact Factor