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J Clin Microbiol. 2012 Oct;50(10):3180-5. doi: 10.1128/JCM.00987-12. Epub 2012 Jul 18.

A swordless knight: epidemiology and molecular characteristics of the blaKPC-negative sequence type 258 Klebsiella pneumoniae clone.

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National Center for Infection Control, Ministry of Health, Tel Aviv, Israel.


In June 2010, a bla(KPC)-negative, ertapenem-resistant ST-258 Klebsiella pneumoniae strain was isolated from a patient in the Laniado Medical Center (LMC). Our aims were (i) to describe its molecular characteristics and resistance mechanisms and (ii) to assess whether the bla(KPC)-negative ST-258 K. pneumoniae clone spreads as efficiently as its KPC-producing isogenic strain. In a prospective study, surveillance of all ertapenem-resistant, carbapenemase-negative K. pneumoniae (ERCNKP) isolates was conducted from June 2010 to May 2011 at LMC (314 beds) and from July 2008 to December 2010 at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (TASMC) (1,200 beds). Molecular typing was done by arbitrarily primed PCR, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). A total of 8 of 42 (19%) ERCNKP isolates in LMC and 1 of 32 (3.1%) in TASMC belonged to the ST-258 clone. These strains carried the bla(CTX-M-2) or the bla(CTX-M-25) extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) gene. Sequencing of the ompK genes showed a frameshift mutation in the ompK35 gene. The fate of the bla(KPC)-carrying plasmid, pKpQIL, was determined by S1 analysis and by PCR of the Tn4401 transposon, repA, and the truncated bla(OXA-9). Plasmid analysis of the ERCNKP ST-258 isolates showed variability in plasmid composition and absence of the Tn4401 transposon and the pKpQIL plasmid. In addition, the ST-258 clone was identified in 35/35 (100%) of KPC-producing K. pneumoniae isolates but in none of 62 ertapenem-susceptible K. pneumoniae isolates collected in the two centers. Our results suggest that ERCNKP ST-258 evolved by loss of the bla(KPC)-carrying plasmid pKpQIL. ERCNKP ST-258 appears to have low epidemic potential.

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