Antibiotics (Basel). 2021 Feb 18;10(2):198. doi: 10.3390/antibiotics10020198.
Coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) are increasingly associated with nosocomial infections, especially among the immunocompromised and those with invasive medical devices, posing a significant concern. We report on clinical multidrug-resistant CoNS from the uMgungundlovu District, KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa, as emerging pathogens. One hundred and thirty presumptive CoNS were obtained from blood cultures. Culture, biochemical tests, and the Staphaurex™ Latex Agglutination Test were used for the initial identification of CoNS isolates; confirmation and speciation were undertaken by the VITEK 2 system. Susceptibilities of isolates against a panel of 20 antibiotics were determined using the Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion method, and the multiple antibiotic resistance (MAR) indices of the isolates were determined. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to amplify the mecA gene to confirm methicillin resistance. Overall, 89/130 presumptive CoNS isolates were confirmed as CoNS by the VITEK 2 system. Of these, 68 (76.4%) isolates were putatively methicillin-resistant by the phenotypic cefoxitin screen test and 63 (92.6%) were mecA positive. Staphylococcus epidermidis (19.1%), S. hominis ssp. hominis (15.7%), and S. haemolyticus (16.9%) were the most common CoNS species. Isolates showed high percentage resistance against penicillin (100.0%), erythromycin (74.2%), and azithromycin (74.2%) while displaying high susceptibilities to linezolid (95.5%), gentamicin (95.5%), and tigecycline (94.4%). Multidrug resistance (MDR) was observed in 76.4% of isolates. MAR index calculation revealed 71.9% of isolates with MAR index >0.2 and 20.2% >0.5. Isolates with the highest MAR indices (0.7 and 0.8) were recovered from the neonatal intensive care unit. Fifty-one MDR antibiograms were observed. The high prevalence of methicillin resistance and multidrug resistance in several species of CoNS necessitates surveillance of this emerging pathogen, currently considered a contaminant of microbial cultures.