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Ugly bugs in healthy guts! Carriage of multidrug-resistant and ESBL-producing commensal Enterobacteriaceae in the intestine of healthy Nepalese adults

Authors Maharjan A, Bhetwal A, Shakya S, Satyal D, Shah S, Joshi G, Khanal PR, Parajuli NP

Received 9 November 2017

Accepted for publication 3 March 2018

Published 26 April 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 547—554

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IDR.S156593

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Sahil Khanna


Anjila Maharjan,1 Anjeela Bhetwal,1 Shreena Shakya,1 Deepa Satyal,1 Shashikala Shah,1 Govardhan Joshi,1,2 Puspa Raj Khanal,1 Narayan Prasad Parajuli1,3

1Department of Laboratory Medicine, Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences, Kathmandu, Nepal; 2Kathmandu Center for Genomics and Research Laboratory (KCGRL), Kathmandu, Nepal; 3Department of Clinical Laboratory Services, Manmohan Memorial Medical College and Teaching Hospital, Kathmandu, Nepal

Background: Fecal carriage of multidrug-resistant and extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Enterobacteriaceae is one of the important risk factors for infection with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In this report, we examined the prevalence of multidrug-resistant and ESBL-producing common enterobacterial strains colonizing the intestinal tract of apparently healthy adults in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Methods: During a 6-month period (February–July 2016), a total of 510 stool specimens were obtained from apparently healthy students of Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences, Kathmandu, Nepal. Stool specimens were cultured, and the most common enterobacterial isolates (Escherichia coli and Klebsiella species) were subjected to antimicrobial susceptibility tests according to the standard microbiologic guidelines. Multidrug-resistant isolates were selected for ESBL confirmation by combined disk test and E-test methods. Molecular characterization of plasmid-borne ESBL genes was performed by using specific primers of cefotaximase Munich (CTX-M), sulfhydryl variant (SHV), and temoniera (TEM) by polymerase chain reaction.
Results: Among 510 bacterial strains, E. coli (432, 84.71%) was the predominant organism followed by Klebsiella oxytoca (48, 9.41%) and K. pneumoniae (30, 5.88%). ESBLs were isolated in 9.8% of the total isolates including K. oxytoca (29.17%), E. coli (7.87%), and K. pneumoniae (6.67%). Among ESBLs, bla-TEM was the predominant type (92%) followed by bla-CTX-M (60%) and bla-SHV (4%).
Conclusion: Multidrug-resistant and ESBL-producing enterobacterial commensal strains among healthy individuals are of serious concern. Persistent carriage of ESBL organisms in healthy individuals suggests the possibility of sustained ESBL carriage among the diseased and hospitalized patients. We recommend similar types of epidemiologic surveys in larger communities and in hospital settings to ascertain the extent of ESBL resistance.

Keywords: healthy adults, intestinal carriage, ESBL, CTX-M, TEM, SHV, Nepal

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