Temporal changes in pulsed-field gel electrophoresis banding in vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium and implications for outbreak investigations

Milena McLaughlin, Michael Malczynski, Chao Qi, Jordan Radetski, Teresa Zembower, Marc H. Scheetz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Patients are often screened with surveillance cultures to discern transmissions vs transformation of an isolate to vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium. To determine the amount of time between which isolates could be considered genetically similar by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, isolate change over time within single patients was studied. Methods: A minimum of 4 isolates per patient, separated by at least 2 months, were collected from previously frozen stores. Visual comparison of banding patterns was conducted, and percent relatedness was calculated. Results: Twenty-eight isolates from 6 patients were studied. No isolate differed by more than 3 bands before 150 days, and the average percent difference per band was 3.7%. The isolates diverged genetically as a linear function of number of bands over time (good model fit intrapatient r2 = 0.42; poor model fit interpatient r2 = 0.0062). Conclusion: Trajectory of genetic variation appears to be isolate/patient specific; however, commonalities exist and tested isolates were relatively stable out to 150 days.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-353
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Infection Control
Volume41
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2013

Keywords

  • Faecium
  • Genetic
  • Infection control
  • PFGE
  • Vancomycin-resistant enterococci

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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