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  • 1 German Armed Forces Hospital of Hamburg, Berlin, Germany
  • 2 University Medicine Rostock, Berlin, Germany
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ESBL (extended-spectrum-β-lactamase)-positive Enterobacteriaceae, which colonized European soldiers in tropical Western African Mali, were subjected to a molecular assessment of their resistance determinants. By doing so, a better insight into the locally endemic pattern of ESBL-associated β-lactamase genes was aspired.

From a previous study on diarrhea in European soldiers on deployment in tropical Mali, 15 ESBL-positive Escherichia coli with demonstrated high clonal diversity and one positive Klebsiella pneumoniae were assessed. Polymerase chain reactions (PCRs) for blaTEM and blaSHV β-lactamase genes with subsequent sequencing for the discrimination of ESBL- and non-ESBL variants were performed, followed by four group-specific PCRs for blaCTX-M genes.

Non-ESBL-associated blaTEM-1 was identified in six out of 15 (40%) E. coli strains, while 100% of the assessed strains were positive for group I blaCTX-M.

Considering the known clonal diversity of the assessed strains, the striking restriction to one group of blaCTX-M genes accounting for the ESBL phenotypes of the isolates suggests little genetic exchange in the local setting. Under such circumstances of restricted numbers of locally endemic target genes, PCR-based screening approaches for ESBL colonization might be promising.

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