The first major extended-spectrum β-lactamase outbreak in Scandinavia was caused by clonal spread of a multiresistant Klebsiella pneumoniae producing CTX-M-15


  • Received 9 August 2007.

    Accepted 22 November 2007.

Birgitta Lytsy, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Uppsala Akademiska Hospital, S-751 85 Uppsala, Sweden. e-mail:


Between May and December 2005, 64 multidrug-resistant isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae were detected from patients admitted to Uppsala University Hospital. This represented a dramatic increase in ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae compared to previous years. To investigate the epidemiology and to characterize the resistance mechanisms of the isolates, a study was initiated. Antibiotic susceptibility was determined by means of the Etest and the disc diffusion method. Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) production was identified by clavulanic acid synergy test and confirmed with PCR amplification followed by DNA sequencing. DNA profiles of the isolates were examined with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). All isolates were resistant or exhibited reduced susceptibility to cefadroxil, cefuroxime, cefotaxime, ceftazidime, aztreonam, piperacillin/tazobactam, ciprofloxacin, tobramycin, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. They produced ESBL of the CTX-M-15 type, and the involvement of a single K. pneumoniae clone was shown. This is the first major clonal outbreak of multiresistant ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae in Scandinavia. The outbreak demonstrates the epidemic potential of enterobacteria containing ESBLs of the CTX-M type, even in a country with a relatively low selective pressure and a low prevalence of multiresistant bacteria.