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Journal of Clinical Microbiology Epidemiology

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Whole-Genome Sequencing of Emerging Invasive Neisseria meningitidis Serogroup W in Sweden [Epidemiology]


Invasive disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup W (MenW) has historically had a low incidence in Sweden, with an average incidence of 0.03 case/100,000 population from 1995 to 2014. In recent years, a significant increase in the incidence of MenW has been noted in Sweden, to an average incidence of 0.15 case/100,000 population in 2015 to 2016. In 2017 (1 January to 30 June), 33% of invasive meningococcal disease cases (7/21 cases) were caused by MenW. In the present study, all invasive MenW isolates from Sweden collected in 1995 to June 2017 (n = 86) were subjected to whole-genome sequencing to determine the population structure and to compare isolates from Sweden with historical and international cases. The increase of MenW in Sweden was determined to be due to isolates belonging to the South American sublineage of MenW clonal complex 11, namely, the novel U.K. 2013 lineage. This lineage was introduced in Sweden in 2013 and has since been the dominant lineage of MenW.

Persistent Pandemic Lineages of Uropathogenic Escherichia coli in a College Community from 1999 to 2017 [Epidemiology]


The incidence of drug-resistant community-acquired urinary tract infections (CA-UTI) continues to increase worldwide. In 1999 to 2000, a single lineage of uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) sequence type 69 (ST69) caused 51% of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole-resistant UTI in a Northern California university community. We compared the clonal distributions of UPEC and its impact on antimicrobial resistance prevalence in the same community during two periods separated by 17 years. We analyzed E. coli isolates from urine samples from patients with symptoms of UTI who visited a health service between September 2016 and May 2017 and compared them to UPEC isolates collected similarly between October 1999 and March 2000. Isolates were tested for antimicrobial drug susceptibility and genotyped by multilocus sequence typing. In 1999 to 2000, strains belonging to ST95, ST127, ST73, ST69, ST131, and ST10 caused 125 (56%) of 225 UTI cases, while the same STs caused 148 (64%) of 233 UTI cases in 2016 to 2017. The frequencies of ampicillin resistance and ciprofloxacin resistance rose from 24.4% to 41.6% (P < 0.001) and from 0.9% to 5.1% (P < 0.003), respectively. The six STs accounted for 78.6% and 72.7% of these increases, respectively. Prevalence of drug-resistant UTI in this community appears to be largely influenced by a small set of dominant UPEC STs circulating in the same community 17 years apart. Further research to determine the origin and reasons for persistence of these dominant genotypes is necessary to combat antimicrobial-resistant CA-UTI.

Molecular Prediction of the O157:H-Negative Phenotype Prevalent in Australian Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli Cases Improves Concordance of In Silico Serotyping with Phenotypic Motility [Epidemiology]


Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is a foodborne pathogen, and serotype O157:H7 is typically associated with severe disease. Australia is unique in its STEC epidemiology, as severe cases are typically associated with non-O157 serogroups, and locally acquired O157 isolates are H-negative/nonmotile. The H-negative phenotype and reduced severity of disease compared to that associated with H7/motile strains are distinct features of Australian O157 strains, but the molecular mechanism behind this phenotype has not been reported. Accurate characterization of the H-negative phenotype is important in epidemiological surveillance of STEC. Serotyping is moving away from phenotype-based methods, as next generation sequencing allows rapid extrapolation of serotype through in silico detection of the O-antigen processing genes, wzx, wzy, wzm, and wzt, and the H-antigen gene, fliC. The detection and genotyping of fliC alone is unable to determine the motility of the strain. Typically, most Australian O157:H-negative strains carry an H7 genotype yet phenotypically are nonmotile; thus, many are mischaracterized as H7 strains by in silico serotyping tools. Comparative genomic analysis of flagellar genes between Australian and international isolates was performed and an insertion at nucleotide (nt) 125 in the flgF gene was identified in H-negative isolates. Chi-square results showed that this insertion was significantly associated with the H-negative phenotype (P < 0.0001). Phylogenetic analysis was also completed and showed that the Australian H-negative isolates with the insertion in flgF represent a clade within the O157 serogroup, distinct from O157:H7 serotypes. This study provides a genetic target for inferring the nonmotile phenotype of Australian O157 STEC, which increases the predictive value of in silico serotyping.

Rapid Increase in Prevalence of Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) and Emergence of Colistin Resistance Gene mcr-1 in CRE in a Hospital in Henan, China [Epidemiology]


The global spread of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) is one of the most severe threats to human health in a clinical setting. The recent emergence of plasmid-mediated colistin resistance gene mcr-1 among CRE strains greatly compromises the use of colistin as a last resort for the treatment of infections caused by CRE. This study aimed to understand the current epidemiological trends and characteristics of CRE from a large hospital in Henan, the most populous province in China. From 2014 to 2016, a total of 7,249 Enterobacteriaceae isolates were collected from clinical samples, among which 18.1% (1,311/7,249) were carbapenem resistant. Carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae and carbapenem-resistant Escherichia coli were the two most common CRE species, with Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemases (KPC) and New Delhi metallo-β-lactamases (NDM), respectively, responsible for the carbapenem resistance of the two species. Notably, >57.0% (n = 589) of the K. pneumoniae isolates from the intensive care unit were carbapenem resistant. Furthermore, blaNDM-5 and mcr-1 were found to coexist in one E. coli isolate, which exhibited resistance to almost all tested antibiotics. Overall, we observed a significant increase in the prevalence of CRE isolates during the study period and suggest that carbapenems may no longer be considered to be an effective treatment for infections caused by K. pneumoniae in the studied hospital.