coli which became a major cause of infections in both community a

coli which became a major cause of infections in both community and hospitals [1, 2]. A few explanations have been proposed on what makes CTX-M-15-producing E. coli isolates so successful. First, it has been proposed that the strain virulence background could be involved in this dissemination process. In fact, many reports have shown that CTX-M-15 is closely associated with the international and pandemic uropathogenic O25:H4-ST131 clone, which have specific virulence factors [3, 4]. Second, the association of CTX-M-15 with the IncF plasmids, which are well adapted to E. coli, may facilitate

the spread of this determinant in E. coli population [5]. In addition to virulence background and IncF plasmids bearing CTX-M-15, it was recently suggested that the association selleckchem this website of various plasmid addiction systems may contribute to the plasmid maintenance in their host [6–8]. An addiction system or a toxin-antitoxin system helps QNZ solubility dmso maintain plasmids in bacteria during host replication by killing of plasmid-free cells resulting from segregation or replication defects [9]. In Tunisia, SHV-2 was the first ESBL to be detected, in 1984 from a K. pneumoniae clinical isolate [10]. Then, various other types of ESBLs, SHV-12, SHV-2a, CTX-M-15, CTX-M-14, CTX-M-9, CTX-M-16,

CTX-M-27 and CTX-M-28 have been reported in different Tunisian hospitals with CTX-M-15 being the most prevalent [11–15]. This study was designed to characterize Florfenicol the ESBL-producing E. coli collected in two university hospitals of Sfax, in the southern part of Tunisia and to investigate their virulence background, their ESBL-encoding plasmids and their plasmid addiction systems. Methods E. coli isolates 163 isolates were randomly selected from the collection

of ESBL-producing E. coli isolates maintained at -80°C in the Microbiology laboratory of Habib Bourguiba hospital. The 163 isolates were collected from the two university hospital of Sfax in Tunisia during the following years: 1989-1990 (6), 2000 (9), 2001 (18), 2002 (9), 2003 (30), 2004 (26), 2006 (36) and 2009 (29). These isolates were obtained mainly from urine (124), but also from blood (20), wound swabs (10), abdominal fluid (5) and sputum (4). Antibiotic susceptibility testing The susceptibility to 16 antimicrobial agents (amoxicillin, amoxicillin + clavulanic acid, ticarcillin, ticarcillin + clavulanic acid, cefalothin, cefoxitin, ceftazidime, cefotaxime, cefepime, gentamicin, amikacin, nalidixic acid, norfloxacin, sulfamethoxzole/trimethoprim and tetracycline) was determined by the disk diffusion method according to the guidelines of the CLSI [16]. All isolates were confirmed for ESBL production using the double disk synergy method. Identification of bla genes The resistance genes bla TEM, bla SHV and bla CTX-M responsible for the ESBL activity were identified by PCR-sequencing [17].

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