Rapid Tracing of Resistance Plasmids in a Nosocomial Outbreak Using Optical DNA Mapping
Journal article, 2016

Resistance to life-saving antibiotics increases rapidly worldwide, and multiresistant bacteria have become a global threat to human health. Presently, the most serious threat is the increasing spread of Enterobacteriaceae carrying genes coding for extended spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBL) and carbapenemases on highly mobile plasmids. We here demonstrate how optical DNA maps of single plasmids can be used as fingerprints to trace plasmids, for example, during resistance outbreaks. We use the assay to demonstrate a potential transmission route of an ESBL-carrying plasmid between bacterial strains/species and between patients, during a polyclonal outbreak at a neonatal ward at Sahlgrenska University Hospital (Gothenburg, Sweden). Our results demonstrate that optical DNA mapping is an easy and rapid method for detecting the spread of plasmids mediating resistance. With the increasing prevalence of multiresistant bacteria, diagnostic tools that can aid in solving ongoing routes of transmission, in particular in hospital settings, will be of paramount importance.

spectrum beta-lactamases

optical DNA mapping


Pharmacology & Pharmacy


field gel-electrophoresis




nosocomial outbreak

antibiotic resistance


Infectious Diseases



Vilhelm Müller

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Chemical Biology

N. Karami

University of Gothenburg

Lena Nyberg

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Chemical Biology

C. Pichler

Lund University

P. C. T. Pedreschi

Lund University

Mahmood Saair Quaderi

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering

Joachim Fritzsche

Chalmers, Physics, Chemical Physics

T. Ambjornsson

Lund University

C. Ahren

University of Gothenburg

Fredrik Westerlund

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Chemical Biology

ACS Infectious Diseases

2373-8227 (eISSN)

Vol. 2 5 322-328

Subject Categories

Clinical Medicine



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