Rapid Tracing of Resistance Plasmids in a Nosocomial Outbreak Using Optical DNA Mapping
2016-03-23T00:00:00Z (GMT) by
Resistance to life-saving antibiotics increases rapidly worldwide, and multiresistant bacteria have become a global threat to human health. Presently, the most serious threat is the increasing spread of Enterobacteriaceae carrying genes coding for extended spectrum β-lactamases (ESBL) and carbapenemases on highly mobile plasmids. We here demonstrate how optical DNA maps of single plasmids can be used as fingerprints to trace plasmids, for example, during resistance outbreaks. We use the assay to demonstrate a potential transmission route of an ESBL-carrying plasmid between bacterial strains/species and between patients, during a polyclonal outbreak at a neonatal ward at Sahlgrenska University Hospital (Gothenburg, Sweden). Our results demonstrate that optical DNA mapping is an easy and rapid method for detecting the spread of plasmids mediating resistance. With the increasing prevalence of multiresistant bacteria, diagnostic tools that can aid in solving ongoing routes of transmission, in particular in hospital settings, will be of paramount importance.