We describe the antimicrobial susceptibility of bacteraemia isolates from Norway. From March 1998 to February 1999, four university hospitals covering all parts of Norway collected their first 10 isolates each month. Minimal inhibitory concentrations were determined for: Enterobacteriaceae (n=192), staphylococci (n=89) and Streptococcus pneumoniae (n=69) using the Etest. NCCLS breakpoints were used. About 20% of all blood culture isolates in Norway in this period were investigated. Compared with countries outside Scandinavia antibiotic sensitivity still prevails. Only minor differences in resistance were found between participating hospitals, between hospital departments and between hospital- and community-acquired pathogens. The prudent use of antibiotics in Norway may contribute to the fact that antibiotic resistance still remains low in the most common bacterial pathogens causing bloodstream infections.
To estimate the extent of meningococcal carriage in the Norwegian population and to investigate the relationship of several characteristics of the population to the carrier state, 1,500 individuals living in rural and small-town areas near Oslo were selected at random from the Norwegian National Population Registry. These persons were asked to complete a questionnaire and to volunteer for a bacteriological tonsillopharyngeal swab sampling. Sixty-three percent of the selected persons participated in the survey. Ninety-one (9.6%) of the volunteers harbored Neisseria meningitidis. The isolates were serogrouped, serotyped, tested for antibiotic resistance, and analyzed by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis. Eight (8.8%) of the 91 isolates represented clones of the two clone complexes that have been responsible for most of the systemic meningococal disease in Norway in the 1980s. Age between 15 and 24, male sex, and active and passive smoking were found to be independently associated with meningococcal carriage in logistic regression analyses. Working outside the home and having an occupation in transportation or industry also increased the risk for meningococcal carriage in individuals older than 17, when corrections for gender and smoking were made. Assuming that our sample is representative of the Norwegian population, we estimated that about 40,000 individuals in Norway are asymptomatic carriers of isolates with epidemic potential. Thus, carriage eradication among close contacts of persons with systemic disease is unlikely to have a significant impact on the overall epidemiological situation.
A random selection of 25 strains isolated during an epidemic caused by serogroup A Neisseria meningitidis in Sudan (1988), 3 preepidemic meningococcal strains (1985), and 26 serogroup A strains isolated from sporadic cases of meningitis in Sweden (1973 to 1987) were assessed for multilocus enzyme genotypes (ETs), DNA restriction enzyme patterns, outer membrane proteins, lipopolysaccharides, pilus formation, and antibiograms. All of the 25 Sudanese epidemic isolates and 22 of the Swedish strains were of the same or closely related ETs (ETs 3, 4, and 5), corresponding to clone III-1, which has been responsible for two pandemic waves in the last three decades. The earlier pandemic involved Scandinavia, and the last one caused an outbreak during the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia (August 1987), spreading to Sudan, Chad, and Ethiopia. The three Sudanese preepidemic isolates (1985) were clone IV-1 (sulfonamide susceptible), which has been resident in the African meningitis belt for the last 25 years. The uniformity of clone III-1 strains (all sulfonamide resistant) from Sudan and Sweden was confirmed by DNA restriction enzyme patterns. ETs 3, 4, and 5 from Sudan and Sweden had 86 to 100% similarity to a Swedish clone III-1 reference strain, whereas ETs 1, 2, 6, and 7 showed 50 to 80% similarity. Class 1 protein for clone III-1 showed serosubtype antigens P1.9 and P1.x, whereas ET6 strains (clone IV-1) had serosubtype P1.7. Lipopolysaccharides were variable in the Sudanese and Swedish strains. Pili were expressed in all clone III-1 isolates from Sudan and Sweden but in none of the clone IV-1 isolates (Sudan, 1985).
A total of 91 consecutive clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus were collected at the Regional Hospital of Arkhangelsk, Russia, from May to December 2004, and examined for antimicrobial susceptibility, methicillin resistance and presence of Panton-Valentine leucocidin (PVL) genes. Epidemiological typing was performed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) isolates were examined by staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) typing. High-to-moderate rates of resistance to penicillin (beta-lactamase production; 93%), tetracycline (40%), erythromycin and clindamycin (32%) were observed. Forty out of ninety-one (44%) isolates were positive for PVL genes. Thirty-six (40%) PVL-positive methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) strains were shown by PFGE and MLST typing (ST121, ST681, ST837) to be part of a nosocomial outbreak caused by clonal complex (CC) 121. PFGE, MLST and SCCmec typing revealed three MRSA clones. Sequence type (ST) 239-III (n=11), ST1097-III (n=1) and ST8-IV (n=3) belong to CC8 of epidemic multiresistant MRSA, whereas ST426-MRSA-IV/CC395 (n=1) has not been reported previously. All MRSA strains were PVL negative. The overall results underline the necessity of microbiological sampling, antimicrobial susceptibility testing, and epidemiological typing as a rational basis for antimicrobial treatment of S. aureus infections, and infection control measures to limit the spread of multiresistant MRSA and epidemic MSSA clones.
Genetic diversity and relationships among 109 isolates of Neisseria meningitidis obtained from throat cultures of healthy individuals in Norway in 1984 were assessed by analyzing electrophoretically demonstrable allelic variation at 15 enzyme-encoding chromosomal genes. Seventy-eight distinctive electrophoretic types (ETs), representing multilocus genotypes, were identified. The mean genetic diversity per locus among the 78 ETs (0.538) was equivalent to that among 19 ETs represented by 66 isolates collected from patients with meningococcal disease in Norway in the first 5 months of 1984. The clonal composition of the collection of carrier strains was, however, quite different from that of strains from patients. The two groups of clones, the ET-5 complex and the ET-37 complex, that were responsible for 91% of the cases of systemic disease in Norway in 1984 were identified in only 7 and 9%, respectively, of the throat cultures from healthy individuals, and their frequencies in the human population sampled were only 0.7% for clones of the ET-5 complex and 0.9% for those of the ET-37 complex. The complex of clones that was most frequently represented by isolates from carriers (19%) has never been recovered from patients with meningococcal disease in Norway or elsewhere, which suggests that these clones have a low virulence potential. Children attending the same day care center or school seldom harbored the same clone in their throats.
Plasmid profile analysis, restriction endonuclease analysis, and multilocus enzyme electrophoresis were used in conjunction with serotyping, bacteriophage typing, and biochemical fingerprinting to trace epidemiologically related isolates of Salmonella typhimurium from an outbreak caused by contaminated chocolate products in Norway and Finland. To evaluate the efficiency of the epidemiological marker methods, isolates from the outbreak were compared with five groups of control isolates not known to be associated with the outbreak. Both plasmid profile analysis and phage typing provided further discrimination over that produced by serotyping and biochemical fingerprinting. Plasmid profile analysis and phage typing were equally reliable in differentiating the outbreak isolates from the epidemiologically unrelated controls and were significantly more effective than multilocus enzyme electrophoresis and restriction enzyme analysis of total DNA. The greatest differentiation was achieved when plasmid profile analysis and phage typing were combined to complement serotyping and biochemical fingerprinting. However, none of the methods employed, including restriction enzyme analysis of plasmid DNA, were able to distinguish the outbreak isolates from five isolates recovered in Norway and Finland over a period of years from dead passerine birds and a calf.
Isolates from the intestinal Escherichia coli flora of 28 members of five families (including parents, children, and household pets) in Amherst, Massachusetts, and Rochester, New York, were characterized by the electrophoretic mobilities of 12 enzymes to estimate the extent of sharing of strains among associated and unassociated hosts. Among the 655 isolates examined, 60 different combinations of electromorphs (electrophoretic types or ETs), each representing a distinctive multilocus genotype, were identified, of which 85% were recovered from only a single individual. On average, 11% of the ETs isolated from the same family were shared by two or more members; 4.9% of ETs were shared among members of unassociated families living in the same city; and only 2% were shared by families in different cities. All three ETs that were recovered from multiple hosts in the present study are widespread clones that have been isolated from many other host individuals in North America and Sweden.
The aim of the present study was to investigate whether HIV-infected patients, a group that is supposedly at risk for infection with antibiotic-resistant microbes, really does so, and to assess possible risk factors for acquiring these organisms. During the period from January 1998 to July 1999, samples of normal flora were obtained from 107 HIV-infected patients attending an outpatient clinic in Oslo, Norway. The samples were cultured for Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Escherichia coli, coagulase-negative staphylococci and Candida spp., and the resulting isolates were tested for antimicrobial susceptibility. The patients studied represented all stages of HIV infection, from recently infected to severely immunocompromised. Samples were taken at one, two or three time-points to determine whether antimicrobial resistance in colonising microorganisms increases over time. Antimicrobial resistance was linked primarily to antimicrobial prophylaxis, but it did not increase during the observation period. The level of a patient's immunodeficiency and the consequently intensified medical care was also of some importance. Even though about 50% of the patients were receiving antimicrobial agents at the time of sampling, the level of resistance found in these patients was very similar to that found in other patient groups in Norway; except for Candida albicans isolates, which were less susceptible to fluconazole. Overall, antimicrobial resistance was uncommon in the HIV-seropositive patients studied, a finding that is probably related to the overall low prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in the general population in Norway.
To study Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance to anti-tuberculosis drugs in the Archangels oblast, and to reveal risk factors for the development of drug-resistant tuberculosis.
The drug susceptibility of strains isolated from 119 patients with pulmonary tuberculosis was studied using the BACTEC method. Medical records of the patients were reviewed, retrospectively, to identify factors associated with drug resistance.
Sixty-seven strains (56.3%) were resistant to at least one anti-tuberculosis drug. The highest rates of resistance were observed for streptomycin and isoniazid: respectively 40.4% and 66.7% of strains isolated from newly and previously treated patients were resistant to streptomycin, and respectively 37.1% and 73.3% of strains isolated from newly and previously treated patients were resistant to isoniazid. Thirty of the 119 strains (25.2%) were multidrug-resistant. Multidrug resistance was four times higher among previously treated patients than among new patients. A history of previous or interrupted treatment for tuberculosis and being female were significantly associated with drug resistance.
Drug-resistant tuberculosis is an important problem in the Archangels oblast, Russia. The spread of drug resistance is attributed to several risk factors. Being female and evidence of previous treatment for tuberculosis are risk factors for the development of drug-resistant tuberculosis in the Archangels oblast. Patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis also showed a higher risk of interrupting their treatment.
An increase in B:15:P1.12 meningococci among isolates from patients with Neisseria meningitidis infection in Norway in recent years led to further characterization of such strains. Between 1987 and 1992, B:15:P1.12 strains constituted 9.8% (24 strains) of B:15 isolates. The B:15:P1.12 strains belonged to the electrophoretic type 5 (ET-5) complex, but 17 (71%) strains were a new clone (ET-5c) not found elsewhere in the world. All but one strain of ET-5c were responsible for a localized outbreak of systemic meningococcal disease in western Norway. A novel monoclonal antibody (202,G-12), developed against the unknown variable region 2 on the class 1 protein of one of these strains, bound to 19 of the 15:P1.12 strains, 4 strains bound the subtype P1.13 reference monoclonal antibody MN24H10.75, and the remaining strain showed no reaction. Sequencing of porA genes demonstrated a series of nine threonine residues in the deduced variable region 2 of the latter strain, while four and five threonine residues were found in the corresponding regions of strains reacting with the monoclonal antibodies 202,G-12 and MN24H10.75, respectively. Epitope mapping with synthetic peptides showed that 202,G-12 bound to a sequence of 11 amino acids which included the four threonine residues specific for subtype P1.13a. Immunoglobulin G antibodies against the P1.7,16 subtype protein, induced in volunteers after vaccination with the Norwegian meningococcal vaccine, did not cross-react on immunoblots with the subtype protein of clone ET-5c. Thus, postvaccination class 1 protein antibodies, assumed to be protective, may not be effective against infection with the new clone.