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Environmental surveillance of ESBL and carbapenemase-producing gram-negative bacteria in a Ghanaian Tertiary Hospital

Acolatse, Joseph Elikem Efui, Portal, Edward A. R., Boostrom, Ian, Akafity, George, Dakroah, Mavis Puopelle, Chalker, Victoria J., Sands, Kirsty and Spiller, Owen B. 2022. Environmental surveillance of ESBL and carbapenemase-producing gram-negative bacteria in a Ghanaian Tertiary Hospital. Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control 11 (1) , 49. 10.1186/s13756-022-01090-2

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Background The burden of antibiotic resistant infection is mainly felt in low-to-middle income countries, where the rate of antimicrobial resistance is largely under-surveyed and under huge pressure from unregulated, disparate and often self-guided access to antimicrobials. Nosocomial infections from hospital environments have been shown to be a particularly prevalent source of multi-drug resistant strains, yet surveillance of hospital environmental contamination is often not investigated. Methods The study was prospective, observational and cross-sectional, sampling 231 high and low touch surfaces from 15th March to 13th April 2021, from five wards in the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, Ghana. Microbial growth in the presence of vancomycin and either meropenem or cefotaxime was examined and bacterial species were identified by MALDI-TOF. The presence of common extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBL) and carbapenemase antimicrobial resistance genes (ARG) were identified through PCR screening, which were confirmed by phenotypic antimicrobial susceptibility determination. Isolates positive for carbapenem resistance genes were sequenced using a multi-platform approach. Results We recovered microbial growth from 99% of swabs (n = 229/231) plated on agar in the absence of antimicrobials. Multiple sites were found to be colonised with resistant bacteria throughout the hospital setting. Bacteria with multi-drug resistance and ARG of concern were isolated from high and low touch points with evidence of strain dissemination throughout the environment. A total of 21 differing species of bacteria carrying ARG were isolated. The high prevalence of Acinetobacter baumannii carrying blaNDM-1 observed was further characterised by whole genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis to determine the relationship between resistant strains found in different wards. Conclusion Evidence of multiple clonal incursions of MDR bacteria of high sepsis risk were found in two separate wards for a regional hospital in Ghana. The prevalence of multiple blaNDM carrying species in combination with combinations of ESBLs was particularly concerning and unexpected in Africa. We also identify strains carrying tet(X3), blaVIM-5 or blaDIM-1 showing a high diversity of carbapenamases present as a reservoir in a hospital setting. Findings of multi-drug resistant bacteria from multiple environmental sites throughout the hospital will inform future IPC practices and aid research prioritisation for AMR in Ghana.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher: BioMed Central
ISSN: 2047-2994
Funders: Microbiology Society
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 March 2022
Date of Acceptance: 27 February 2022
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2022 16:10

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