Microorganisms. 2021 Jun 8;9(6):1245. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms9061245.
We evaluated carriage rates of extended spectrum β-lactam-producing Enterobacterales (ESBL-E), Carbapeneme-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE), vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE), and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) among pregnant women and determined the maternal-to-neonate transmission rates of these antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB). Pregnant women provided rectal and vaginal samples, proximal to delivery. Stool samples were collected from newborns within 48 h of birth. All samples were cultured on selective media for ARB identification. Clinical and demographic data were collected from the participants' medical files. We performed molecular and phenotypic characterization of the different resistance mechanisms, and determined the isolates' antibiotic susceptibility and biofilm-forming ability. The prevalence of ESBL-E, MRSA and VRE among pregnant women were 16%, 6% and 1%, respectively. The prevalence of ESBL-E and MRSA among neonates were 7.6% and 1.6%, respectively. Maternal-to-neonate transmission rates of ESBL-E and MRSA were 48% and 27.8%, respectively. Maternal and neonatal isolates shared similar characteristics. Maternal-to-neonate transmission of ARB plays an important role in bacterial colonization in newborns. Future studies should investigate the outcomes of the high ESBL-E transmission rate. The biofilm-forming ability of ARB was found to affect transmission. Additional factors should be investigated in order to understand the differences between transmitted and non-transmitted bacteria.