Targeted test for antibiotic resistance in clinical Enterobacter species
Bacteria of the genus Enterobacter are among the most dangerous bacteria associated with hospital infections worldwide. Some of their representatives are highly resistant to commonly used antibiotics, so that the reserve antibiotic colistin is increasingly used as a last resort therapy option. To avoid unnecessary reliance on colistin and risk increasing resistance, bacteria are tested for sensitivity or resistance to colistin before recommending treatment. However, commonly used tests for Enterobacter are not reliable. In a comprehensive study with broad participation within the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), scientists have now resolved this problem. Based on these findings, they developed a simple, sensitive and robust test for the genus Enterobacter, which now enables targeted antibiotic therapy for the various Enterobacter species.
The currently used microbiological tests for colistin resistance and other antibiotic resistances did not allow accurate conclusions regarding the spread of resistance in different Enterobacter species. This was partly because the taxonomic classification of clinical Enterobacter isolates was imprecise, and partly because the error rate in determining resistance was high. The large-scale DZIF study has now achieved a breakthrough and clarified the relationships between the numerous Enterobacter species as well as optimised resistance testing. To this end, researchers at the Institute of Medical Microbiology of Justus Liebig University Giessen (Deep-iAMR project), together with DZIF scientists at the Research Center Borstel, Leibniz Lung Center, analysed Enterobacter isolates collected at German university hospitals over a period of three years.