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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2008 Jul;284(2):247-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.2008.01208.x. Epub 2008 May 27.

Evaluation of a multiplex PCR for detection of serotypes K1, K2 and K5 in Klebsiella sp. and comparison of isolates within these serotypes.

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Laboratory of HealthCare Associated Infection, Centre for Infections, Health Protection Agency, London, UK.


A multiplex PCR using targets within the serotype-specific region of the capsular polysaccharide synthesis gene cluster of serotypes K1, K2 and K5 was evaluated using the 77 reference serotype strains of Klebsiella, and a panel of clinical isolates subjected previously to conventional serotyping. The PCR was highly specific for these serotypes, which are those most associated with virulence in humans and horses. PCR confirmed that isolates of the K5 serotype had cross-reacted with antiserum for other serotypes, particularly for K7. K5 isolates received by our laboratory were almost exclusively from thoroughbred horses, and were submitted for screening prior to breeding programmes. Most, including a reference strain isolated in 1955, belonged to a cluster of genetically similar isolates of sequence type (ST) 60. K1 isolates, all from humans, belonged to a previously identified cluster of ST 23.

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