Int J Med Microbiol 2015 Jan 9;305(1):148-56. Epub 2014 Dec 9.
Institute for Medical Microbiology and Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases, Leipzig University Hospital, Liebigstr. 21, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany.
Two hundred and twenty-five healthy German volunteers traveling to 53 different countries (mostly in Asia, Africa and South America) were enrolled in a prospective cohort study. Stool samples and data on potential travel-associated risk factors (such as type of travel, nutritional habits, occurrence of gastroenteritis) were collected before and after traveling. Screening for extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-PE) and carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) was performed using selective media (CHROMagar™ ESBL/CPE plates). Isolates with confirmed ESBL-phenotype were examined for the presence of blaCTX-M, blaTEM, blaSHV, and blaVIM, blaIMP, blaNDM, blaKPC, blaOXA-48 genes by PCR amplification and sequencing. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed using conventional microbroth dilution. Pre-travel analysis of 205 fully evaluable participants revealed an ESBL-PE prevalence rate of 6.8% (14/205). Among 191 participants that were ESBL-negative before travel, 58 (30.4%) were colonized by ESBL-producing Escherichia coli, and 5 (8.6%) additionally carried ESBL-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae upon return. However, no carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae were detected. ESBL-genotyping revealed that 52/54 (96.6%) E. coli and 4/4 (100%) K. pneumoniae strains available for sequencing produced CTX-M enzymes, mostly CTX-M-15 (33/56, 58.9%), and 2/54 (3.7%) E. coli strains produced SHV-12 enzymes. Travel to India was associated with the highest ESBL-PE acquisition rate (11/15, 73.3%; p=0.015), followed by South East Asia (22/46, 47.8%; p=0.038). Evaluation of travel-associated risk factors demonstrated significance for the occurrence of gastroenteritis (p=0.011). Strictly practiced hand hygiene and exclusive consumption of packaged beverages showed no protective effect. The ESBL-PE persistence rate after 6 months was 8.6% (3/35). We conclude that global efforts are needed to address the further spread of ESBL-PE in the community. Active surveillance and contact isolation precautions may be recommended at admission to medical facilities especially for patients who traveled to India and South East Asia in the previous 6 months.