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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2014 Mar;69(3):628-31. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkt409. Epub 2013 Oct 11.

KPC-2-encoding plasmids from Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae in Taiwan.

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Institute of Molecular and Genomic Medicine, National Health Research Institutes, Miaoli, Taiwan.



Two plasmids carrying bla(KPC-2) isolated from carbapenem-resistant Escherichia coli (CR-EC) and carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (CR-KP), respectively, were completely sequenced. The CR-KP strain was selected from an outbreak in 2012, and the CR-EC strain was the first blaKPC-2-carrying E. coli identified in the same carbapenem resistance monitoring programme in Taiwan.


Antimicrobial susceptibility tests, multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and the conjugal transfer of plasmids were performed. Complete sequencing of the plasmids was performed using a shotgun approach.


The CR-EC and CR-KP strains in this study were determined to be ST410 and ST11, respectively, by MLST. From CR-EC, we identified a 145 kb conjugative plasmid that carries bla(KPC-2), bla(CMY-2), bla(CTX-M-3) and bla(TEM-1). The plasmid is a chimera composed of three regions related to IncI, IncN and RepFIC replicons. From CR-KP, we identified an 86.5 kb plasmid, pKPC-LK30, which carries bla(KPC-2) and bla(SHV-11). The plasmid is very similar to two bla(KPC-2)-carrying IncFII(K) plasmids, but lacks one of the replication origins and cannot conjugate.


The differences in cross-species transferability of the two plasmids can be explained by genetic differences between their backbones and could have resulted in the confined bla(KPC-2)-carrying CR-KP outbreak in Taiwan. Plasmid pKPC-LKEc is the first bla(KPC-2)-carrying plasmid identified from CR-EC in Taiwan. With relatively high transferability it should be closely monitored.


IncFIIK; carbapenemases; resistance mechanisms

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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