Mother-to-neonate transmission of antibiotic-resistant bacteria: A cross-sectional study

Lital Ashtamkar Matok, Maya Azrad, Tamar Leshem, Anan Abuzahya, Thanaa Khamaisi, Tatiana Smolkin, Avi Peretz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1245
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Antibiotic resistant bacteria
  • Carbapeneme-resistant Enterobac-terales
  • Colonization prevalence
  • Extended spectrum β-lactam-producing Enterobacterales
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
  • Mother-to-neonate transmission
  • Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci


Dive into the research topics of 'Mother-to-neonate transmission of antibiotic-resistant bacteria: A cross-sectional study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this