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  • 1 Laboratory Ward, National Bone Marrow Transplant Center, Tunis, Tunisia
  • 2 Tunis El Manar University, Faculty of Medicine of Tunis, LR18ES39, 1006, Tunis, Tunisia
  • 3 Laboratory Ward, Traumatology and Great Burned Center, 2074, Ben Arous, Tunisia
  • 4 Burns Intensive Care Unit, Traumatology and Great Burned Center, 2074, Ben Arous, Tunisia
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Abstract

Extensively drug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (XDR-Ab), has emerged as an important pathogen in several outbreaks. The aim of our study was to investigate the eventual genetic relatedness of XDR-Ab strains recovered from burn patients and environment sites in the largest Tunisian Burn Intensive Care Unit (BICU) and to characterize β-lactamase encoding genes in these strains. Between March 04th, 2019 and April 22nd, 2019 an outbreak of XDR-Ab was suspected. Environmental screening was done. All isolates were screened by simplex PCR for β-lactamase genes. Genetic relatedness was determined by pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) of ApaI-digested total DNA. During the study period, 21 strains of A. baumannii were isolated in burn patients, mainly in blood culture (n = 7) and central vascular catheter (n = 6). All strains were susceptible to colistin but resistant to imipenem (n = 23), ciprofloxacin (n = 23), amikacin (n = 22), tigecyclin (n = 5) and rifampicin (n = 4). The blaOXA-51-like, blaOXA23, and blaADC genes were present in all strains. These resistance determinants were associated with blaPER-1 in 10 strains. The ISAba1 was inserted upstream of blaOXA-23 in all isolates. PFGE revealed two major clusters A (n = 11) and B (n = 5). This is the first description in Tunisia of clonally related PER-1 producing XDR-Ab in burn patients with probable environmental origin.

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