Intestinal carriage of multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacteria in preterm-infants during hospitalization in neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)

Polly Soo Xi Yap, Azanna Ahmad Kamar, Chun Wie Chong, Ivan Kok Seng Yap, Kwai Lin Thong, Yao Mun Choo, Mohd Yasim Md Yusof, Cindy Shuan Ju Teh

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16 Citations (Scopus)


The prevalence and antibiotic susceptibility of intestinal carriage of Gram-negative bacteria among preterm infants admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in a tertiary teaching hospital in Malaysia were determined. A total of 34 stool specimens were obtained from preterm infants upon admission and once weekly up to two weeks during hospitalization. The presumptive colonies of Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae were selected for identification, antibiotic susceptibility testing, and subtyping by using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Out of 76 Gram-negative isolates, highest resistance was detected for amoxicillin/clavulanate (30.8%, n = 16), ceftriaxone (42.3%, n = 22), ceftazidime (28.8%, n = 15), cefoxitin (28.8%, n = 15), aztreonam (36.5%, n = 19), and polymyxin B (23.1%, n = 12). Three colistin resistant K. pneumoniae have also been detected based on E-test analysis. Thirty-nine isolates of K. pneumoniae and 20 isolates of E. coli were resistant to more than three antimicrobial classes and were categorized as multidrug resistant (MDR). PFGE analysis revealed a higher diversity in pulsotypes for K. pneumoniae (18 pulsotypes) in comparison to E. coli (four pulsotypes). In addition, a total of fifteen pulsotypes was observed from 39 MDR K. pneumoniae. The risk factors for antibiotic resistance were assessed using random forest analysis. Gender was found to be the most important predictor for colistin resistant while length, OFC, and delivery mode were showing greater predictive power in the polymyxin B resistance. This study revealed worrying prevalence rates of intestinal carriage of multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae and E. coli of hospitalized preterm infants in Malaysia, particularly high resistance to polymyxins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-246
Number of pages9
JournalPathogens and Global Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sept 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Gram-negative enteric
  • Meconium
  • Multidrug resistant
  • PFGE
  • Preterm infants

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