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Front Microbiol. 2016 Jun 29;7:1021. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.01021. eCollection 2016.

Phenotypic and Molecular Characterization of Antimicrobial Resistance in Klebsiella spp. Isolates from Companion Animals in Japan: Clonal Dissemination of Multidrug-Resistant Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamase-Producing Klebsiella pneumoniae.

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Department of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Tottori University Tottori, Japan.
Laboratory of Veterinary Microbiology, Nippon Veterinary and Life Science University Tokyo, Japan.
Laboratory of Food Microbiology and Food Safety, Rakuno Gakuen University Hokkaido, Japan.
Miyamoto Animal Hospital Yamaguchi, Japan.
Sanritsu Zelkova Veterinary Laboratory Kanagawa, Japan.
Monoris Co., Ltd. Tokyo, Japan.


The emergence of antimicrobial resistance in Klebsiella spp., including resistance to extended-spectrum cephalosporins (ESC) and fluoroquinolones, is of great concern in both human and veterinary medicine. In this study, we investigated the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in a total of 103 Klebsiella spp. isolates, consisting of Klebsiella pneumoniae complex (KP, n = 89) and K. oxytoca (KO, n = 14) from clinical specimens of dogs and cats in Japan. Furthermore, we characterized the resistance mechanisms, including extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL), plasmid-mediated AmpC β-lactamase (PABL), and plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance (PMQR); and assessed genetic relatedness of ESC-resistant Klebsiella spp. strains by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Antimicrobial susceptibility testing demonstrated that resistance rates to ampicillin, cephalothin, enrofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, cefotaxime, gentamicin, tetracycline, chloramphenicol, amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, and cefmetazole were 98.1, 37.9, 37.9, 35.9, 35.0, 34.0, 31.1, 30.1, 28.2, 14.6, and 6.8%, respectively. Phenotypic testing detected ESBLs and/or AmpC β-lactamases in 31 of 89 (34.8%) KP isolates, but not in KO isolates. Resistances to 5 of the 12 antimicrobials tested, as well as the three PMQRs [qnrB, qnrS, and aac(6')-Ib-cr], were detected significantly more frequently in ESBL-producing KP, than in non-ESBL-producing KP and KO. The most frequent ESBL was CTX-M-15 (n = 13), followed by CTX-M-14 (n = 7), CTX-M-55 (n = 6), SHV-2 (n = 5), CTX-M-2 (n = 2), and CTX-M-3 (n = 2). Based on the rpoB phylogeny, all ESBL-producing strains were identified as K. pneumoniae, except for one CTX-M-14-producing strain, which was identified as K. quasipneumoniae. All of AmpC β-lactamase positive isolates (n = 6) harbored DHA-1, one of the PABLs. Based on MLST and PFGE analysis, ST15 KP clones producing CTX-M-2, CTX-M-15, CTX-M-55, and/or SHV-2, as well as KP clones of ST1844-CTX-M-55, ST655-CTX-M-14, and ST307-CTX-M-15, were detected in one or several hospitals. Surprisingly, specific clones were detected in different patients at an interval of many months. These results suggest that multidrug-resistant ESBL-producing KP were clonally disseminated among companion animals via not only direct but also indirect transmission. This is the first report on large-scale monitoring of antimicrobial-resistant Klebsiella spp. isolates from companion animals in Japan.


Klebsiella spp.; cats; clonal dissemination; dogs; extended-spectrum β-lactamases; multidrug resistance

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