Coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) are important pathogens in premature neonates; decreasing glycopeptide susceptibility has been observed among these isolates. The epidemiology of colonization with CoNS, the organisms' vancomycin susceptibilities, and genetic relatedness were studied over 6 months in a tertiary-care neonatal unit. A total of 321 isolates of CoNS were isolated. Seventy-five percent of the infants were colonized at admission, and virtually all were colonized thereafter. Common species were Staphylococcus epidermidis (69%), S. warneri (12%), S. haemolyticus (9.7%), and S. hominis (5.6%). A total of 3.9% of CoNS isolates had decreased vancomycin susceptibility (DVS) (MICs > 2.0 μg/ml); isolate recovery was associated with a stay in a neonatal intensive care unit for >28 days (P = 0.039), vancomycin exposure (P = 0.021), and S. warneri colonization (P < 0.0001). Nine of 12 (75%) CoNS with DVS were S. warneri, had enhanceable high-level resistance in vitro, were indistinguishable or closely related by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, and were different from 29 vancomycin - susceptible S. warneri isolates. Epidemiological analysis suggested unsuspected nosocomial spread. Species determination in certain settings may aid in the understanding of emerging nosocomial problems.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Microbiology (medical)