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Background: Extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs) are enzymes capable of hydrolyzing oxyimino-β-lactams and inducing resistance to third generation cephalosporins. The genes encoding ESBLs are widespread and generally located on highly transmissible resistance plasmids. We aimed to investigate the complement of ESBL genes in E. coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae causing nosocomial infections in hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Methodology: Thirty-two non-duplicate isolates of E. coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae causing nosocomial infections, isolated between March and June 2010, were subjected to antimicrobial susceptibility testing. All isolates were PCR-amplified to detect the blaSHV, blaTEM and blaCTX-M ESBL genes and subjected to plasmid analysis. Results: We found that co-resistance to multiple antimicrobials was highly prevalent, and we report the predominance of the blaCTX-M-15 and blaCTX-M-27 genes, located on highly transmissible plasmids ranging from 50 to 170 kb in size. Conclusions: Our study represents a snap shot of ESBL-producing enteric bacteria causing nosocomial infections in this setting. We suggest that antimicrobial resistance in nosocomial E. coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae is rampant in Vietnam and ESBL organisms are widespread. In view of these data and the dramatic levels of antimicrobial resistance reported in Vietnam we advocate an urgent review of antimicrobial use in the Vietnamese healthcare system.

Original publication





The Journal of Infection in Developing Countries


Journal of Infection in Developing Countries

Publication Date





922 - 928