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ABSTRACT: Enterobacter hormaechei and Cronobacter sakazakii are amongst the most important causes of outbreaks of neonatal sepsis associated with powdered milk. In this study, we report for the first time an outbreak of a novel Enterobacter sp. harbouring bla(CTX-M-15) in a neonatal unit in Tanzania. Seventeen Gram-negative enteric isolates from neonatal blood cultures were studied. Antibiotic susceptibility was assessed by disc diffusion testing, and the presence of the bla(CTX-M-15) gene was established by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing. Isolates were typed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Identification by biochemical profiling was followed by nucleotide sequencing of 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA), rpoB and hsp60 alleles. Environmental sampling was done and control measures were established. Isolates were initially misidentified based on their fermentation characteristics and agglutination as Salmonella enterica serotype Paratyphi. All isolates were resistant to multiple antibiotics, except for ciprofloxacin and carbapenems, and were found to harbour bla(CTX-M-15) on a 291-kb narrow-range plasmid. PFGE analysis indicated the clonal outbreak of a single strain, infecting 17 neonates with a case fatality rate of 35%. The same strain was isolated from a milk bucket. Phylogenetic analysis using 16S rDNA, rpoB and hsp60 sequences permitted no definitive identification, clustering the strains in the Enterobacter cloacae complex with similarities of 92-98.8%. The data describe an outbreak of a novel bla(CTX-M-15)-positive, multiresistant Enterobacter strain in an African neonatal unit that can easily be misidentified taxonomically. These data highlight the need for constant surveillance of bacteria harbouring extended-spectrum β-lactamases as well as improvements in hygiene measures in developing countries.
International journal of antimicrobial agents 09/2011; 38(3):265-9. · 3.03 Impact Factor