Germs. 2021 Mar 15;11(1):39-51. doi: 10.18683/germs.2021.1239. eCollection 2021 Mar.
INTRODUCTION: Diabetic foot infections (DFIs) are among the most severe complications of diabetes. The aim of this study was to determine the etiological pathogens of DFIs in different Wagner's and IDSA/IWGDF grades, and to assess their antimicrobial susceptibility pattern together with molecular characterization of antibiotic resistance genes.
METHODS: A prospective study was conducted on 120 DFI patients at Main Alexandria University Hospital, Egypt. The aerobic and anaerobic etiological pathogens were determined using semi-quantitative culture and PCR respectively. The antimicrobial susceptibility pattern was done according to Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute guidelines. Detection of carbapenemases and class-1 integron genes was carried out by polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
RESULTS: A total of 178 (124 aerobic, 54 anaerobic) pathogens were identified from patients with DFI, with an average of 1.82 isolates/subject. Among aerobic pathogens, Gram-negative predominated (98/124; 79%), of which Pseudomonas spp. and Proteus spp. were the most common. MRSA constituted more than 50% of Gram-positive isolates. Polymicrobial infection was found in 42 (42.9%) subjects. The proportion of Gram-negative bacteria and anaerobes increased with increased DFI grades and severity. Multidrug and extensively drug resistant isolates were observed in 86 patients (87.7%). PCR identified carbapenemases genes in 14 (11.7%) and class 1 integron in 28 (23.3%) DFI cases. Vancomycin, teicoplanin, linezolid were the most effective antimicrobial agents against Gram-positive pathogens, while colistin, imipenem, meropenem, and piperacillin-tazobactam were effective against Gram-negative pathogens.
CONCLUSIONS: Multidrug and extensively drug resistant Gram-negative bacteria were the dominant pathogens among all DFI severity grades. However, the proportion of Gram-positive bacteria decreased with the severity of infection. The clinical role of our relatively high rate of anaerobes should be investigated. The results found in this study could be beneficial for designing future empiric antimicrobial protocols in relation to the severity of DFIs.