Molecular and epidemiological characterization of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae in Norway, 2007 to 2014

Norwegian Study Group on CPE

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39 Citations (Scopus)


The prevalence of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) is increasing worldwide. Here we present associated patient data and molecular, epidemiological and phenotypic characteristics of all CPE isolates in Norway from 2007 to 2014 confirmed at the Norwegian National Advisory Unit on Detection of Antimicrobial Resistance. All confirmed CPE isolates were characterized pheno- and genotypically, including by whole genome sequencing (WGS). Patient data were reviewed retrospectively. In total 59 CPE isolates were identified from 53 patients. Urine was the dominant clinical sample source (37%) and only 15% of the isolates were obtained from faecal screening. The majority of cases (62%) were directly associated with travel or hospitalization abroad, but both intra-hospital transmission and one inter-hospital outbreak were observed. The number of CPE cases/year was low (2–14 cases/year), but an increasing trend was observed. Klebsiella spp. (n = 38) and E. coli (n = 14) were the dominant species and blaKPC (n = 20), blaNDM (n = 19), blaOXA- 48-like (n = 12) and blaVIM (n = 7) were the dominant carbapenemase gene families. The CPE isolates were genetically diverse except for K. pneumoniae where clonal group 258 associated with blaKPC dominated. All isolates were multidrug-resistant and a significant proportion (21%) were resistant to colistin. Interestingly, all blaOXA-48-like, and a large proportion of blaNDM-positive Klebsiella spp. (89%) and E. coli (83%) isolates were susceptible in vitro to mecillinam. Thus, mecillinam could have a role in the treatment of uncomplicated urinary tract infections caused by OXA-48- or NDM-producing E. coli or K. pneumoniae. In conclusion, the impact of CPE in Norway is still limited and mainly associated with travel abroad, reflected in the diversity of clones and carbapenemase genes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0187832
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Samuelsen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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