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J Infect Dis. 2005 Jul 1;192(1):117-28. Epub 2005 May 25.

Genomic heterogeneity in Klebsiella pneumoniae strains is associated with primary pyogenic liver abscess and metastatic infection.

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Department of Microbiology, National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan.



Primary pyogenic liver abscess (PLA) with septic complication by Klebsiella pneumoniae is an emerging infectious disease.


Using DNA microarray hybridization, we identified a 20-kb chromosomal region that contained 15 open-reading frames (ORFs), including an iron-uptake system (kfu), a phosphoenolpyruvate sugar phosphotransferase system (PTS), and 6 unknown ORFs. The region was more prevalent among tissue-invasive strains (35/46) than among noninvasive strains (19/98) (P<.0001, chi2 test). To test the role played by this region in pathogenesis, 3 different deletion mutants (NTUH-K2044 [Delta kfu], K2044 [Delta ORF7-9], and K2044 [Delta PTS]) were constructed. Only the Delta kfuABC mutants showed decreased virulence in mice, compared with the wild-type strain. An in vitro assay confirmed the involvement of kfu in iron acquisition. There was a high correlation rate (85%) between the kfu/PTS region and 2 tissue invasion-associated chromosomal regions (allS and magA). Moreover, all 3 regions were present in strains that caused PLA plus endophthalmitis or meningitis.


Our results suggest that chromosomal heterogeneity is present in tissue-invasive K. pneumoniae strains. A genotype containing all 3 regions is strongly associated with PLA and metastatic infection. These regions may serve as convenient markers for the rapid diagnosis of emergent tissue-invasive strains.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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