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Front Microbiol. 2019 Jan 22;9:3198. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.03198. eCollection 2018.

High Prevalence of Multidrug-Resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae Harboring Several Virulence and β-Lactamase Encoding Genes in a Brazilian Intensive Care Unit.

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Departamento de Genética e Evolução, Universidade Federal de São Carlos, São Carlos, Brazil.
Laboratório Central de Saúde Pública do Tocantins, Palmas, Brazil.
School of Dentistry, University of Ribeirão Preto, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil.
Department of Cell Cycle and Cancer Biology, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma City, OK, United States.


Klebsiella pneumoniae is an important opportunistic pathogen that commonly causes nosocomial infections and contributes to substantial morbidity and mortality. We sought to investigate the antibiotic resistance profile, pathogenic potential and the clonal relationships between K. pneumoniae (n = 25) isolated from patients and sources at a tertiary care hospital's intensive care units (ICUs) in the northern region of Brazil. Most of K. pneumoniae isolates (n = 21, 84%) were classified as multidrug resistant (MDR) with high-level resistance to β-lactams, aminoglycosides, quinolones, tigecycline, and colistin. All the 25 isolates presented extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing (ESBL), including carbapenemase producers, and carried the bla KPC (100%), bla TEM (100%), bla SHV variants (n = 24, 96%), bla OXA-1 group (n = 21, 84%) and bla CTX-M-1 group (n = 18, 72%) genes. The K2 serotype was found in 4% (n = 1) of the isolates, and the K1 was not detected. The virulence-associated genes found among the 25 isolates were mrkD (n = 24, 96%), fimH-1 (n = 22, 88%), entB (100%), iutA (n = 10, 40%), ybtS (n = 15, 60%). The genes related with efflux pumps and outer membrane porins found were AcrAB (100%), tolC (n = 24, 96%), mdtK (n = 22, 88%), OmpK35 (n = 15, 60%), and OmpK36 (n = 7, 28%). ERIC-PCR was employed to determine the clonal relationship between the different isolated strains. The obtained ERIC-PCR patterns revealed that the similarity between isolates was above 70%. To determine the sequence types (STs) a multilocus sequence typing (MLST) assay was used. The results indicated the presence of high-risk international clones among the isolates. In our study, the wide variety of MDR K. pneumoniae harboring β-lactams and virulence genes strongly suggest a necessity for the implementation of effective strategies to prevent and control the spread of antibiotic resistant infections.


Klebsiella pneumoniae; intensive care units; multi-drug resistance; virulence genes; β-lactams gene

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