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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2013 Nov;68(11):2482-6. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkt235. Epub 2013 Jun 25.

Reversion to susceptibility of a carbapenem-resistant clinical isolate of Klebsiella pneumoniae producing KPC-3.

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Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.



We report the case of a kidney-transplant patient, suffering an intra-abdominal abscess at the surgical site caused by a carbapenem-resistant ST258 Klebsiella pneumoniae clone, producing the KPC-3 carbapenemase. Under tigecycline treatment, the patient developed a sepsis caused by a carbapenem-susceptible ST258 K. pneumoniae strain. Complete DNA sequences of the plasmids carried by the resistant and susceptible strains from this patient were determined.


The complete DNA sequences of plasmids were obtained by applying the 454 Genome Sequencer FLX-PLUS procedure on a library constructed of total plasmid DNA purified from the carbapenem-resistant and -susceptible strains.


In the carbapenem-resistant strain, four plasmids encoding 24 resistance genes, including blaKPC-3, and two putative virulence clusters were detected. In the susceptible strain, large rearrangements occurred in the KPC-carrying plasmid, causing the deletion of the entire Tn4401::blaKPC-3 transposon, with the consequent reversion of the strain to carbapenem susceptibility. The patient was successfully treated with carbapenems and fully recovered.


The description of the plasmid content in these two strains gives interesting insights into the plasticity of KPC-carrying plasmids in K. pneumoniae.


plasmids; sequence type 258; transplant

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