Bacterial Diversity in Two Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs)

Krissi M. Hewitt, Frank L. Mannino, Antonio Gonzalez, John H. Chase, James G Caporaso, Rob Knight, Scott T. Kelley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

67 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Infants in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) are particularly susceptible to opportunistic infection. Infected infants have high mortality rates, and survivors often suffer life-long neurological disorders. The causes of many NICU infections go undiagnosed, and there is debate as to the importance of inanimate hospital environments (IHEs) in the spread of infections. We used culture-independent next-generation sequencing to survey bacterial diversity in two San Diego NICUs and to track the sources of microbes in these environments. Thirty IHE samples were collected from two Level-Three NICU facilities. We extracted DNA from these samples and amplified the bacterial small subunit (16S) ribosomal RNA gene sequence using 'universal' barcoded primers. The purified PCR products were pooled into a single reaction for pyrosequencing, and the data were analyzed using QIIME. On average, we detected 93+/-39 (mean +/- standard deviation) bacterial genera per sample in NICU IHEs. Many of the bacterial genera included known opportunistic pathogens, and many were skin-associated (e.g., Propionibacterium). In one NICU, we also detected fecal coliform bacteria (Enterobacteriales) in a high proportion of the surface samples. Comparison of these NICU-derived sequences to previously published high-throughput 16S rRNA amplicon studies of other indoor environments (offices, restrooms and healthcare facilities), as well as human- and soil-associated environments, found the majority of the NICU samples to be similar to typical building surface and air samples, with the notable exception of the IHEs which were dominated by Enterobacteriaceae. Our findings provide evidence that NICU IHEs harbor a high diversity of human-associated bacteria and demonstrate the potential utility of molecular methods for identifying and tracking bacterial diversity in NICUs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere54703
JournalPLoS One
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 29 2013

Fingerprint

Intensive care units
Neonatal Intensive Care Units
sampling
Enterobacteriales
ribosomal RNA
Propionibacterium
coliform bacteria
Coliform bacteria
nervous system diseases
biological resistance
16S Ribosomal RNA
Bacteria
Enterobacteriaceae
skin (animal)
infection
health services
Opportunistic Infections
Pathogens
Ports and harbors
Infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Hewitt, K. M., Mannino, F. L., Gonzalez, A., Chase, J. H., Caporaso, J. G., Knight, R., & Kelley, S. T. (2013). Bacterial Diversity in Two Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs). PLoS One, 8(1), [e54703]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0054703

Bacterial Diversity in Two Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs). / Hewitt, Krissi M.; Mannino, Frank L.; Gonzalez, Antonio; Chase, John H.; Caporaso, James G; Knight, Rob; Kelley, Scott T.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 8, No. 1, e54703, 29.01.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hewitt, KM, Mannino, FL, Gonzalez, A, Chase, JH, Caporaso, JG, Knight, R & Kelley, ST 2013, 'Bacterial Diversity in Two Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs)', PLoS One, vol. 8, no. 1, e54703. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0054703
Hewitt KM, Mannino FL, Gonzalez A, Chase JH, Caporaso JG, Knight R et al. Bacterial Diversity in Two Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs). PLoS One. 2013 Jan 29;8(1). e54703. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0054703
Hewitt, Krissi M. ; Mannino, Frank L. ; Gonzalez, Antonio ; Chase, John H. ; Caporaso, James G ; Knight, Rob ; Kelley, Scott T. / Bacterial Diversity in Two Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs). In: PLoS One. 2013 ; Vol. 8, No. 1.
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