Antimicrobial resistance and molecular characterization of Vibrio cholerae O1 during the 2004 and 2005 outbreak of cholera in Cameroon.
In the 1996-1997 cholera epidemic in Guinea-Bissau, surveillance for antimicrobial resistance showed the emergence of a multidrug-resistant strain of Vibrio cholerae O1 during the course of the epidemic. The strain was resistant to ampicillin, erythromycin, tetracycline, furazolidone, aminoglycosides, trimethoprim, and sulfamethoxazole. Concomitant with the emergence of this strain, we observed a resurgence in the number of registered cholera cases as well as an increase in the case fatality rate from 1.0% before the emergence of the multiple-drug-resistant strain to 5.3% after the emergence of the strain. Our study shows that the strain contained a 150-kb conjugative multiple-antibiotic resistance plasmid with class 1 integron-borne gene cassettes encoding resistance to trimethoprim (dhfrXII) and aminoglycosides [ant(3")-1a]). The finding of transferable resistance to almost all of the antibiotics commonly used to treat cholera is of great public health concern. Studies should be carried out to determine to what extent the strain or its resistance genes have been spread to other areas where cholera is endemic.