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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2012 Apr;31(4):481-6. doi: 10.1007/s10096-011-1334-7. Epub 2011 Jul 8.

Fecal carriage of serotype K1 Klebsiella pneumoniae ST23 strains closely related to liver abscess isolates in Koreans living in Korea.

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Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, 50 Irwon-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, 135-710, Korea.


We determined the fecal carriage rate of serotype K1 Klebsiella pneumoniae in healthy Koreans and studied their genetic relationship with liver abscess isolates. We compared the carriage according to the country of residence. The stool specimens were collected through health promotion programs in Korea. K. pneumoniae strains were selected and tested for K1 by PCR. Serotype K1 isolates were characterized by multilocus sequence typing and pulsed field gel electrophoresis. A total of 248 K. pneumoniae isolates were obtained from 1,174 Koreans. Serotype K1 was identified in 57 (4.9%), of which 54 (94.7%) were ST 23 and were closely related to the liver abscess isolates. Participants aged >25 years showed a higher fecal carriage rate than those ≤ 25 (P = 0.007). The proportion of serotype K1 out of K. pneumoniae isolates in foreigners of Korean ethnicity who had lived in other countries was lower compared with those who had lived in Korea (5.6% vs 24.1%, P = 0.024). A substantial proportion of Koreans >25 years carries serotype K1 K. pneumoniae ST23 strains, which are closely related to liver abscess isolates. Differences in carriage rates by country of residence suggests that environmental factors might play an important role in the carriage of this strain.

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