Nicholson, Alison M. ; Gayle, P. ; Roye-Green, Karen J.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Microbiology
Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase Producing Organisms at the University Hospital of the West Indies
West Indian Medical Journal
Date of Publication
Extended spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBL) represent a major group of beta-lactamases that have the ability to inactivate beta-lactam antibiotics containing an oxyimino group such as third generation cephalosporins and monobactams. These enzymes are produced by gram negative organisms, especially members of the Enterobacteriaceae family such as Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli. The prevalence of these organisms varies widely internationally, as well as within the same country. This is the first study on ESBL production in K pneumoniae and E coli at the University Hospital of the West Indies, a tertiary care hospital in Jamaica. Two-hundred and sixty-four isolates of K pneumoniae and 300 isolates of E coli were collected over the study period January 2002 to December 2002. Forty-eight (18.2%) K pneumoniae isolates were confirmed to be ESBL producers, while there was no ESBL producing E coli. Infections with ESBL producing organisms can pose a therapeutic challenge, leading to treatment failure if the wrong class of antibiotics is used. With increasing resistance to all classes of antibiotics, there is a narrowing of available treatment options. It is very important that these organisms be monitored and antibiotic policies as well as infection control policies be in place to curtail their spread.....