BackgroundVietnam and Southeast Asia are hotspots for antimicrobial resistance; however, little is known on the prevalence of carriage of carbapenem resistance in non-hospitalized humans and in animals. Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), particularly Escherichia coli (CREC) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (CRKP) and also Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB) are emerging threats worldwide.MethodsWe investigated healthy humans (n = 652), chickens (n = 237), ducks (n = 150) and pigs (n = 143) in 400 small-scale farms in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. Samples (rectal swabs, faecal swabs) were investigated for carriage of CRE/CRAB and were further characterized phenotypically and genotypically.ResultsIn the Mekong Delta of Vietnam, the prevalence of CRE isolates in human rectal swabs was 0.6%, including 4 CREC and 1 CRKP. One pig was infected with CREC (prevalence 0.7%). CRAB was isolated from chickens (n = 4) (prevalence 2.1%) and one duck (prevalence 0.7%). CRKP was isolated from a human who was also colonized with CREC. The CRKP strain (ST16), from an 80 year-old person with pneumonia under antimicrobial treatment, genetically clustered with clinical strains isolated in a hospital outbreak in southern Vietnam. The prevalence of CRE was higher among humans that had used antimicrobials within 90 days of the sampling date than those had not (4.2% versus 0.2%) (P = 0.005). All CRE/CRAB strains were MDR, although they were susceptible to colistin and neomycin. The carbapenemase genes identified in study strains were bla NDM and bla OXA.ConclusionsThe finding of a CRKP strain clustering with previous hospital outbreak raises concerns about potential transmission of carbapenem-resistant organisms from hospital to community settings or vice-versa.
Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.