Whole-genome sequencing reveals transmission of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium in a healthcare network.

Brodrick, HJ; Raven, KE; Harrison, EM; Blane, B; Reuter, S; Török, ME; Parkhill, J; Peacock, SJ; (2016) Whole-genome sequencing reveals transmission of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium in a healthcare network. Genome Med, 8 (1). p. 4. ISSN 1756-994X DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13073-015-0259-7

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Bacterial whole-genome sequencing (WGS) has the potential to identify reservoirs of multidrug-resistant organisms and transmission of these pathogens across healthcare networks. We used WGS to define transmission of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) within a long-term care facility (LTCF), and between this and an acute hospital in the United Kingdom (UK). A longitudinal prospective observational study of faecal VRE carriage was conducted in a LTCF in Cambridge, UK. Stool samples were collected at recruitment, and then repeatedly until the end of the study period, discharge or death. Selective culture media were used to isolate VRE, which were subsequently sequenced and analysed. We also analysed the genomes of 45 Enterococcus faecium bloodstream isolates collected at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH). Forty-five residents were recruited during a 6-month period in 2014, and 693 stools were collected at a frequency of at least 1 week apart. Fifty-one stool samples from 3/45 participants (7 %) were positive for vancomycin-resistant E. faecium. Two residents carried multiple VRE lineages, and one carried a single VRE lineage. Genome analyses based on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the core genome indicated that VRE carried by each of the three residents were unrelated. Participants had extensive contact with the local healthcare network. We found that VRE genomes from LTCF residents and hospital-associated bloodstream infection were interspersed throughout the phylogenetic tree, with several instances of closely related VRE strains from the two settings. A proportion of LTCF residents are long-term carriers of VRE. Evidence for genetic relatedness between these and VRE associated with bloodstream infection in a nearby acute NHS Trust indicate a shared bacterial population.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Pathogen Molecular Biology
Research Centre: Antimicrobial Resistance Centre (AMR)
PubMed ID: 26759031
Web of Science ID: 368070300001
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/2532215


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