High Prevalence of Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria in Libyan War Casualties Admitted to a Tertiary Care Hospital, Germany

Benedikt Lohr, Yvonne Pfeifer, Ursel Heudorf, Christoph Rangger, Douglas E. Norris, Klaus Peter Hunfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ongoing Libyan conflict constantly causes victims among the military and civilian population. Cross-border transfer of patients represents a high risk of introducing multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs), for example, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci, and carbapenem-resistant gram-negative organisms (CROs), into the country of destination. This study assessed the MDRO status in Libyan war casualties (n = 67) admitted to Northwest Medical Centre in Frankfurt/Main, Germany, from August 2016 till January 2017. Identified multidrug-resistant nonfermenters and Enterobacteriaceae were subjected to molecular detection of β-lactamases and further mechanisms of resistance. All isolates were typed by enzymatic macrorestriction and subsequent pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. MDROs were found in 40 (60%) patients, including 25 (37%) positive for at least one CRO and 11 (16%) patients with MRSA. A total of 37 isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Escherichia coli, Enterobacter cloacae, and Serratia marcescens produced carbapenemases: NDM (n = 17), OXA-48 (n = 15), and OXA-23 (n = 9) in addition to other β-lactamases (with blaCTX-M-group-1 being most frequent) and plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance genes (qnrB, aac(6′)Ib-cr). Bacterial strain typing revealed the presence of various clones. This high MDRO rate in Libyan war casualties demands awareness, appropriate screening, and containment measures for medical institutions involved in medical care to avoid patient-to-patient transmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)578-584
Number of pages7
JournalMicrobial Drug Resistance
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2018


  • Acinetobacter baumannii
  • Enterobacteriaceae
  • NDM
  • OXA
  • carbapenemase
  • multidrug resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Microbiology (medical)

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