Large Dissemination of VIM-2-Metallo-beta-Lactamase-Producing Pseudomonas aeruginosa Strains Causing Health Care-Associated Community-Onset Infections
During a 3-year period (May 2005 to April 2008), a series of 45 outpatients presented with community-onset urinary tract infections due to carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates. Forty of them had a history of previous hospitalization or exposure to healthcare facilities, while the remaining five had not been previously admitted to our healthcare facilities or elsewhere within the preceding 12 months. In 18 outpatients, the carbapenem-resistant organisms caused recurrent community-onset urinary tract infections, while in three outpatients the organisms were also implicated in bacteremic episodes. All 45 single-patient P. aeruginosa isolates harbored the bla(VIM-2) metallo-beta-lactamase (MBL) gene in a common class 1 integron structure. They belonged to one predominant pulsed-field gel electrophoresis type and three sporadically detected types; two of the sporadic clonal types were identified among outpatients without previous exposure to healthcare facilities, while the predominant clonal type was also identified to cause infections in hospitalized patients. This is the first study documenting that MBL-producing P. aeruginosa isolates cause community-onset infections that are related or not with exposure to healthcare facilities. Community-onset infections in our patients most likely resulted from the nosocomial acquisition of MBL producers, followed by a prolonged digestive carriage. The high rate of recurrent infections in the community underlies the difficulty of constraining infections caused by such microorganisms in the extrahospital setting.