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Revista chilena de infectología

Print version ISSN 0716-1018


KAPPES, Tomás et al. Copper activity against multiresistant Gram negative bacilli isolated from Chilean hospitals. Rev. chil. infectol. [online]. 2012, vol.29, n.6, pp.622-627. ISSN 0716-1018.

Introduction: Multiresistant nosocomial pathogens, especially Gram-negative bacilli (GNB), are a serious problem for public health systems worldwide. Due to their antimicrobial properties, copper alloys have been suggested as an alternative for the control of bacterial burden in surfaces in hospital environment. However, antibiotic multiresistance and copper resistance could be associated in GNB, and there is evidence that both kind of resistance genes (antibiotic and copper) can be located on the same genetic structures. For this reason antibiotic-multiresistant strains could survive in the presence of copper, selecting for bacterial phenotypes resistant to both antibacterial agents. Aim: To evaluate antibacterial activity of copper against nosocomial extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBL) (+) and ESBL (-) GNB, and carbapenems resistant or susceptible strains. Material and Method: This study included 390 strains of GNB isolated from Chilean hospitals: Acinetobacter baumannii and Pseudomonas aeruginosa resistant (CARR) and susceptible (CARS) to carbapenem antibiotics, and Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli producers and non-producers of ESBL. Susceptibility levels to cupric sulphate were determined by agar dilution method and statistical analysis were used to determine the significance of the differences in the copper tolerance levels between the strains groups. Results: Statistically superior copper tolerance levels were found in the CARR and ESBL producing strains of A. baumannii and K. pneumoniae, in relation with the CARS and ESBL not-producing strains. Conclusion: A relation between a diminished susceptibility to ionic copper and to recent generation antimicrobial agents was observed in K. pneumoniae y A. baumannii strains.

Keywords : Copper tolerance; antibiotic resistance; nosocomial infections.

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