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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2009 Aug;53(8):3365-70. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00126-09. Epub 2009 Jun 8.

Molecular epidemiology of KPC-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates in the United States: clonal expansion of multilocus sequence type 258.

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  • 1Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC)-producing Enterobacteriaceae have become more common in the United States and throughout the world. We used pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) to examine the molecular epidemiology of KPC-producing K. pneumoniae isolates sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for reference testing from 1996 to 2008. A dominant strain, sequence type 258 (ST 258), was found and likely accounts for 70% of the CDC's K. pneumoniae PFGE database. Isolates with PFGE patterns related to ST 258 were identified in 10 of the 19 U.S. states currently reporting KPC-producing K. pneumoniae, in addition to one isolate from Israel. KPC subtyping and analysis of the surrounding genetic environment were subsequently performed on 23 representative isolates. Thirteen isolates identified as ST 258 possessed either bla(KPC-2) or bla(KPC-3) and some variability in the Tn4401 element upstream of the bla(KPC) gene. Escherichia coli DH10B was successfully transformed by electroporation with KPC-encoding plasmid DNA from 20 of the 23 isolates. Restriction analysis of plasmid DNA prepared from transformants revealed a diversity of band patterns, suggesting the presence of different plasmids harboring the bla(KPC) gene, even among isolates of the same ST.

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