Investigation of the introduction and dissemination of vanB Enterococcus faecium in the Capital Region of Denmark and development of a rapid and accurate clone-specific vanB E. faecium PCR

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Background: During 2018-19, an increase of vanB vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VREfm) was observed in the Capital Region of Denmark. vanA/vanB PCR performed directly on rectal swabs is accurate in detection of vanA; however, the positive predictive value for vanB-positive samples is low because of the presence of vanB in non-enterococcal gut commensals. Objectives: We investigated the epidemiology and clonal relatedness of vanB VREfm from the period 2015-19 and describe the application of a clone-specific vanB VREfm PCR assay for rapid and accurate detection of vanB VREfm in rectal screening samples. Methods: vanB VREfm were investigated using epidemiological data and WGS data. The SeqSphere+ software was used to analyse MLST and cgMLST, and de novo assemblies were annotated to determine insertion sites for the vanB transposon (Tn1549). A clone-specific vanB VREfm PCR assay was designed to detect the sequence bridging Tn1549 and the E. faecium chromosome (araA2) in the dominant cluster. Results: Two hundred and seventy-five vanB VREfm isolates were identified, of which 76% were identified in 2019. A dominant cluster (Cluster 1, n=204, 74%), six minor clusters and 15 singletons were identified. All Cluster 1 isolates and six non-Cluster 1 isolates had Tn1549 integrated into araA2. In 2019, the PCR assay would have detected 92% of all rectal screening samples containing vanB VREfm. Conclusions: vanB VREfm increased due to the introduction and nosocomial transmission of the successful Cluster 1. The clone-specific PCR assay detected vanB VREfm outbreak isolates in rectal screening samples rapidly and accurately.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)2260-2267
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved.

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