1887

Abstract

is an invasive organism that frequently causes severe tissue damage in diabetic foot ulcers.

The characterisation of P. aeruginosa strains isolated from diabetic foot infections has not been carried out in Tunisia.

The aim was to determine the prevalence of isolated from patients with diabetic foot infections (DFIs) in Tunisia and to characterize their resistance, virulence and molecular typing.

Patients with DFIs admitted to the diabetes department of the International Hospital Centre of Tunisia, from September 2019 to April 2021, were included in this prospective study. were obtained from the wound swabs, aspiration and soft tissue biopsies during routine clinical care and were confirmed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing, serotyping, integron and OprD characterization, virulence, biofilm production, pigment quantification, elastase activity and molecular typing were analysed in all recovered isolates by phenotypic tests, specific PCRs, sequencing, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multilocus sequence typing.

Sixteen isolates (16.3 %) were recovered from 98 samples of 78 diabetic patients and were classified into 6 serotypes (O:11 the most frequent), 11 different PFGE patterns and 10 sequence types (three of them new ones). The high-risk clone ST235 was found in two isolates. The highest resistance percentages were observed to netilmicin (69 %) and cefepime (43.8 %). Four multidrug-resistant (MDR) isolates (25 %) were detected, three of them being carbapenem-resistant. The ST235-MDR strain harboured the In51 class 1 integron (). According to the detection of 14 genes involved in virulence or quorum sensing, 5 virulotypes were observed, including 5 -positive, 9 -positive and 2 -positive strains. The gene was truncated by IS insertion sequence in one isolate, and a deletion of 64 bp in the gene was detected in the ST235-MDR strain. Low biofilm, pyoverdine and elastase production were detected in all ; however, the -truncated strain showed a chronic infection phenotype characterized by loss of serotype-specific antigenicity, high production of phenazines and high biofilm formation.

Our study demonstrated for the first time the prevalence and the molecular characterization of strains from DFIs in Tunisia, showing a high genetic diversity, moderate antimicrobial resistance, but a high number of virulence-related traits, highlighting their pathological importance.

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2024-07-04
2024-07-15
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