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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital

Association between vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium colonization and subsequent infection: a retrospective WGS study

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BACKGROUND: Since 2012, the incidence of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VREfm) has increased dramatically in Copenhagen and vanA E. faecium has become endemic and polyclonal.

OBJECTIVES: To examine whether a patient with a positive VRE clinical sample had the same VREfm in a preceding screening sample (within 60 days).

METHODS: We performed a 30 month retrospective study. From our laboratory information system (LIS), we identified all patients with an invasive VREfm isolate and a VREfm rectal screening isolate within 60 days before infection. VREfm pairs (screening isolate and invasive isolate) were whole-genome sequenced. All isolates were analysed using SeqSphere and core-genome MLST (cgMLST) types were determined. We examined all isolates for the presence of the three most dominant vanA plasmids in the Capital Region of Denmark. Two novel vanA plasmids were closed by Nanopore/Illumina sequencing.

RESULTS: We found a total of 19 VREfm pairs. Of these, 13 patients had pairs with matching cgMLST types and vanA plasmids and a median number of 6 days from identification of carriage to clinical infection. One patient had a pair with non-matching cgMLST types but matching vanA plasmids and 24 days between identification of carriage to clinical infection. Five patients had pairs with non-matching cgMLST types and non-matching vanA plasmids and a median number of 18 days from identification of carriage to clinical infection.

CONCLUSIONS: Of our 19 pairs, 13 were a match regarding cgMLST types (68%) and 1 more (5%) had matching vanA plasmids. Infection was thus preceded by colonization with the same isolates in 13 out of 19 patients. The five mismatches (26%) could be explained by the longer interval between colonization and infection.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1712-1715
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020

ID: 59545116