Research Summary: Fecal Carriage of ESBL-Producing E. coli and K. pneumoniae in Children in Guinea-Bissau: A Hospital-Based Cross-Sectional Study



In recent years, the world has seen a surge in extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing bacteria. However, data on the dissemination of ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae in the community from systematically enrolled study subjects in Africa remains limited. To determine the prevalence, phenotypic resistance patterns and genetic characteristics of ESBL-producing E. coli and K. pneumoniae in fecal carriage and to analyze associated risk factors in children attending a pediatric emergency department in Guinea-Bissau.

Methodology/Principal Findings

From June to September 2010, children <5 years of age with fever or tachycardia attending a pediatric emergency ward during the day was screened for ESBL carriage in feces. Socio-demographic and health seeking behavior data was collected. Antibiotic susceptibility was tested with VITEK2 and EUCAST disk diffusion method, molecular characterization of ESBL-encoding genes was performed with multiplex PCR and clonal relatedness was established by automated rep-PCR. Of 408 enrolled children 133 (32.6%) were ESBL carriers. In total, 83 E. coli and 91 K. pneumoniae ESBL-producing isolates were obtained. Nearly all isolates were multidrug-resistant. Co-resistance to ciprofloxacin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and aminoglycosides was common. Of the isolates, 38.5% were co-resistant to these classes plus extended-spectrum cephalosporins, which infers resistance to all easily available antibiotic agents for treatment of gram-negative sepsis in Guinea-Bissau. The predominant resistance-encoding gene subgroup was blaCTX-M-1 and epidemiologic typing showed that the bacterial ESBL population was highly diverse both for E. coli and K. pneumoniae. Bed sharing with another child <5 years of age was a risk factor for ESBL carriage, indicating crowding as a potential risk factor for transmission of ESBL-producing bacteria.


Prevalence of ESBL-producing bacteria in this population was high and clonally diverse. This is alarming considering the limited diagnostic and treatment possibilities in Guinea-Bissau and other resource-poor countries.


Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 20-December-2012

Author(s): Isendahl J., Turlej-Rogacka A., Manjuba C., Rodrigues A., Giske C., Nauclér P.


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