Fraenkel CJ, Starlander G, Tano E, Sütterlin S, Melhus Å
Microorganisms 11 (4) - [2023-04-08; online 2023-04-08]
Multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an increasing clinical problem worldwide. The aim of this study was to describe the first outbreak of a Verona integron-borne metallo-ß-lactamase (VIM)-2-producing P. aeruginosa strain in Sweden and its expansion in the region. A cluster of multidrug-resistant P. aeruginosa appeared at two neighbouring hospitals in 2006. The isolates were characterized by PCR, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), and whole-genome sequencing. Patient charts, laboratory records, and hygiene routines were reviewed, and patients, staff, and the environment were screened. The investigation revealed a clonal outbreak of a VIM-2-producing P. aeruginosa strain belonging to the high-risk clonal complex 111, susceptible only to gentamicin and colistin. No direct contact between patients could be established, but most of them had stayed in certain rooms/wards weeks to months apart. Cultures from two sinks yielded growth of the same strain. The outbreak ended when control measures against the sinks were taken, but new cases occurred in a tertiary care hospital in the region. In conclusion, when facing prolonged outbreaks with this bacterium, sinks and other water sources in the hospital environment should be considered. By implementing proactive control measures to limit the bacterial load in sinks, the waterborne transmission of P. aeruginosa may be reduced.