Antibiotics susceptibility of Escherichia coli isolates from clinical specimens before and during COVID-19 pandemic

  • Eustachius Hagni Wardoyo Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, Universitas Mataram, Mataram, Indonesia
  • I Wayan Suardana Department of Microbiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Universitas Udayana, Bali, Indonesia
  • I Wayan Putu Sutirta Yasa Department of Clinical Pathology, School of Medicine, Universitas Udayana, Bali, Indonesia
  • I Dewa Made Sukrama Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, Universitas Udayana, Bali, Indonesia
Keywords: Antimicrobial resistance; COVID-19 pandemic; Escherichia coli


Background and Objectives: Escherichia coli is a Gram-negative organism causing mild to severe infections, with a wide spectrum range of organs involved. The study aimed to describe antibiotics susceptibility of E. coli from clinical specimens from October 11, 2019 to September 11, 2020.

Materials and Methods: Study was conducted retrospectively in a private microbiology laboratory in Mataram Indonesia. Period of study divided as two groups after WHO declared COVID-19 as pandemic by March 11, 2020; group A including the specimen related to September 2019 to March 11 th 2020 and group B including the specimens related to March 11 th 2020 to September 2020. All clinical specimens were subjected to identify E. coli isolates and their antibiotics susceptibility using WHO-NET 5.6 version.

Results: Totally, 148 E. coli isolates were found in group A and 62 isolates in group B. Prevalence of extended-spectrum beta lactamase (ESBL)- producing E. coli in group A was 50% and in group B was 20.9% with significantly difference (p<0.05). There was an increase in susceptibility to 10/16 antibiotics; where 3 antibiotics ofloxacin, aztreonam, and fosfomycin were significant (p<0.05). There was a significant decrease in susceptibility to the antibiotics piperacillin (p=0.012), amoxicillin (p=0.002), cefadroxil (p=0.036) and ampicillin (p=0.036). Type of infections between two groups: musculoskeletal infections, pneumonia, urinary tract infections and sepsis were not significant.

Conclusion: Reduced number of E. coli isolates between two groups with decrease of ESBL-producing E. coli contribute in dynamics of antibiotics susceptibility. The longer period of analysis is needed to be done, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.