Hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae serotype K1 clinical isolates form robust biofilms at the air-liquid interface.
ABSTRACT: The prevalence of a new hypervirulent and hypermucoviscous K. pneumoniae phenotype (Hmv) is increasing worldwide, mainly linked to serotypes K1 and K2. Since capsular thickness can directly affect the capability to form biofilms, we aimed to evaluate the association between the Hmv phenotype with adhesion and biofilm formation in a collection of clinical K. pneumoniae isolates. We selected 38 Hmv clinical isolates [15 serotype K1; 9 serotype K2; 3 non-K1/K2 (rmpA+); 11 non-K1/K2 (rmpA-)] and 7 non-Hmv clinical isolates. The Hmv phenotype was assessed through the mucoviscosity test. Serum resistance was determined by bacterial viability tests in pooled human serum. Adhesion was evaluated with the Biofilm Ring Test®, and biofilm formation was identified by crystal violet staining (Solid-Liquid, SLI-biofilm) or visual examination (Air-Liquid, ALI-biofilm). This study linked for the first time the formation of robust ALI-biofilm plugs by K. pneumoniae to the capsular serotype K1, a group of hypervirulent strains which are generally highly susceptible to the antimicrobial agents. Among all the studied isolates, the capsular serotype K1 presented lower initial adhesion despite having the adhesins mrkD and fimH but higher ALI-biofilm formation than isolates with other capsular serotypes (K2 or non-K1/K2). This structure might confer increased resistance to a group of hypervirulent K. pneumoniae serotype K1.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Klebsiella pneumoniae causes both nosocomial and community-associated infections. Hypervirulent K. pneumoniae (hvKP), new variant of K. pneumoniae, can cause invasive infections in young healthy individuals as well as in the immunocompromised population. Hypervirulent strains frequently belong to capsular serotypes K1 or K2. Emergence of antimicrobial resistance in hvKP is a cause for concern. AIM AND OBJECTIVE:The present study was done to detect the K1 and K2 serotypes among clinical isolates of K. pneumoniae, spectrum of infections caused by them and presence of common beta-lactamases encoding genes in them. MATERIALS AND METHODS:A total of 370 isolates of K. pneumoniae, isolated from various clinical samples over a period of 1 year was included in this study. Antibiotic susceptibility testing to various classes of antimicrobials was done as per Clinical and Laboratory Standard Institute guidelines. The presence of K2A (specific to serotype K2), magA (specific to serotype K1), and rmpA genes was detected by multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (TEM, SHV, and CTX-M), plasmid-mediated AmpCs (MOX, CIT, DHA, ACC, EBC, and FOX), and carbapenemase genes (IMP, VIM, NDM, KPC, and OXA-48) were also determined by PCR. RESULTS:Among the 370 isolates, 8 harbored K2A gene and one harbored magA. rmpA gene was detected in three isolates along with K1 or K2 serotypes. Seven K2A-positive isolates were resistant to one or more classes of antimicrobials. The studied ESBL genes were present in four isolates. Two isolates harbored carbapenemase genes (NDM-1, OXA-48) along with ESBLs. CONCLUSION:K2 serotype is more prevalent among hvKP isolates. They can harbor ESBLs and Carbapenemase genes. K1 serotype is rather uncommon in K. pneumoniae. Acquisition of multidrug-resistant genes by these strains adds to their virulence and limits the treatment options.
Project description:Klebsiella pneumoniae is a common pathogen associated with nosocomial infections and is characterised serologically by capsular polysaccharide (K) and lipopolysaccharide O antigens. We surveyed a total of 348 non-duplicate K. pneumoniae clinical isolates collected over a 1-year period in a tertiary care hospital, and determined their O and K serotypes by sequencing of the wbb Y and wzi gene loci, respectively. Isolates were also screened for antimicrobial resistance and hypervirulent phenotypes; 94 (27.0%) were identified as carbapenem-resistant (CRKP) and 110 (31.6%) as hypervirulent (hvKP). isolates fell into 58 K, and six O types, with 92.0% and 94.2% typeability, respectively. The predominant K types were K14K64 (16.38%), K1 (14.66%), K2 (8.05%) and K57 (5.46%), while O1 (46%), O2a (27.9%) and O3 (11.8%) were the most common. CRKP and hvKP strains had different serotype distributions with O2a:K14K64 (41.0%) being the most frequent among CRKP, and O1:K1 (26.4%) and O1:K2 (17.3%) among hvKP strains. Serotyping by gene sequencing proved to be a useful tool to inform the clinical epidemiology of K. pneumoniae infections and provides valuable data relevant to vaccine design.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae (hvKP) is emerging around the Asian-Pacific region and it is the major cause of the community-acquired pyogenic liver abscesses. Multidrug-resistant hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae (MDR-hvKP) isolates were reported in France, China and Taiwan. However, the international-ally agreed definition for hvKP and the virulence level of hvKP are not clear. RESULTS:In this study, 56 hvKP isolates were collected from March 2008 to June 2012 and investigated by string test, capsule serotyping, multilocus sequence typing (MLST), virulence gene detection and serum resistance assay. Among the 56 K. pneumoniae isolates, 64.3% had the hypermucoviscosity phenotype, meanwhile, 64.3% were the K1 serotype and 19.6% were the K2 serotype. Within the K1 serotype, 94.4% were ST23, and within the K2 serotype, ST65, ST86 and ST375 accounted for the same percentage 27.3%. The serum resistance showed statistically normal distribution. According to the 50% lethal dose of Galleria. mellonella infection model, hvKP isolates were divided into high virulence level group and moderate virulence level group. The ability of each method evaluating the virulence level of hvKP was assessed using the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve. CONCLUSIONS:K1 ST23 K. pneumoniae was the most prevalent clone of the hvKP. However, K1 ST23 K. pneumoniae was the dominant clone in the moderate virulence level group. MLST was a relatively reliable evaluation method to discriminate the virulence level of hvKP in our study.
Project description:Multidrug-resistant hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae (MDR-hvKP) has been increasingly reported and is now recognized as a significant threat to public health; however, characterization of MDR-hvKP has not been systematically investigated. In the present study, 124 of 428 (28.92%) K. pneumoniae clinical isolates collected from January 2010 to December 2016 were identified with aerobactin and defined as hvKP; these included 94 non-MDR-KP, 20 extended-spectrum ?-lactamase-producing K. pneumoniae (ESBL-KP), and 10 carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae (CR-KP) isolates. The remaining 304 isolates without presence of virulence factor aerobactin were defined as classic K. pneumoniae (cKP). The antimicrobial resistance rate of cKP was significantly higher than that of the hvKP isolates in the non-MDR-KP group, but showed no significant differences in the ESBL-KP and CR-KP groups. The detection frequencies of capsular serotype K1 (magA), hypermucoviscosity, sequence type 23 (ST23), and the virulence gene rmpA were significantly higher in the hvKP than cKP isolates in all three groups (P < 0.05). Most of the hypervirulent ESBL-KP and CR-KP isolates were K non-typeable (16/30) and harbored at least one gene for virulence (26/30). The hypervirulent ESBL-KP isolates primarily carried bla CTX-M (12/20, 60%) genes, and the hypervirulent CR-KP isolates mainly carried bla NDM- 1 (8/10, 80%) genes. Moreover, three hypervirulent ESBL-KP and two hypervirulent CR-KP isolates showed resistance to tigecycline but were sensitive to colistin. The transcriptional levels of rmpA in cKP were much lower than that in hvKP isolates in all three groups. Furthermore, overexpression of rmpA in the rmpA-low-expression cKP isolates could enhance bacterial virulence in the mouse infection experiment. In conclusion, our data suggest that the capsular serotype K1 (magA), rmpA, hypermucoviscosity, and ST23 were strongly associated with hvKP in non-MDR-KP, ESBL-KP, and CR-KP groups, and low rmpA expression levels contributed to the absence of hypervirulent phenotype.
Project description:The convergence of carbapenem-resistance and hypervirulence genes in Klebsiella pneumoniae has led to the emergence of highly drug-resistant superbugs capable of causing invasive disease. We analyzed 556 carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae isolates from patients in Singapore hospitals during 2010-2015 and discovered 18 isolates from 7 patients also harbored hypervirulence features. All isolates contained a closely related plasmid (pKPC2) harboring blaKPC-2, a K. pneumoniae carbapenemase gene, and had a hypervirulent background of capsular serotypes K1, K2, and K20. In total, 5 of 7 first patient isolates were hypermucoviscous, and 6 were virulent in mice. The pKPC2 was highly transmissible and remarkably stable, maintained in bacteria within a patient with few changes for months in the absence of antimicrobial drug selection pressure. Intrapatient isolates were also able to acquire additional antimicrobial drug resistance genes when inside human bodies. Our results highlight the potential spread of carbapenem-resistant hypervirulent K. pneumoniae in Singapore.
Project description:Klebsiella pneumoniae is the common cause of a global emerging infectious disease, community-acquired pyogenic liver abscess (PLA). Capsular polysaccharide (CPS) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) are critical for this microorganism's ability to spread through the blood and to cause sepsis. While CPS type K1 is an important virulence factor in K. pneumoniae causing PLA, the role of LPS in PLA is not clear. Here, we characterize the role of LPS O antigen in the pathogenesis of K. pneumoniae causing PLA. NTUH-K2044 is a LPS O1 clinical strain; the presence of the O antigen was shown via the presence of 1,3-galactan in the LPS, and of sequences that align with the wb gene cluster, known to produce O-antigen. Serologic analysis of K. pneumoniae clinical isolates demonstrated that the O1 serotype was more prevalent in PLA strains than that in non-tissue-invasive strains (38/42 vs. 9/32, P<0.0001). O1 serotype isolates had a higher frequency of serum resistance, and mutation of the O1 antigen changed serum resistance in K. pneumoniae. A PLA-causing strain of CPS capsular type K2 and LPS serotype O1 (i.e., O1:K2 PLA strain) deleted for the O1 synthesizing genes was profoundly attenuated in virulence, as demonstrated in separate mouse models of septicemia and liver abscess. Immunization of mice with the K2044 magA-mutant (K(1) (-) O(1)) against LPS O1 provided protection against infection with an O1:K2 PLA strain, but not against infection with an O1:K1 PLA strain. Our findings indicate that the O1 antigen of PLA-associated K. pneumoniae contributes to virulence by conveying resistance to serum killing, promoting bacterial dissemination to and colonization of internal organs after the onset of bacteremia, and could be a useful vaccine candidate against infection by an O1:K2 PLA strain.
Project description:An extensively drug-resistant (XDR) <i>Klebsiella pneumoniae</i> isolate MS3802 from a tracheostomy exudate was whole-genome sequenced using MiSeq and Oxford Nanopore MinION platforms in order to identify the antimicrobial resistance and virulence determinates and their genomic context. Isolate MS3802 belonged to the clone ST23 and presented a capsular serotype K1, associated with hypervirulent <i>K. pneumoniae</i> (hvKp) isolates. The isolate harboured a chromosomally encoded <i>bla</i><sub>CTX-M-15</sub> gene and contained a large IncHI1B hybrid virulence/resistance plasmid carrying another copy of the <i>bla</i><sub>CTX-M-15</sub> and the virulence factors <i>iucABCD-iutA, iroBCDN, rmpA</i> and <i>rmpA2.</i> The carbapenemase gene <i>bla</i><sub>OXA-48</sub> was found in a Tn<i>1999</i>-like transposon and the 16S rRNA methylase <i>armA</i> gen located in the vicinity of other antibiotic-resistant genes on an IncM2 plasmid. This study represents, to the best of our knowledge, the first description of a <i>bla</i><sub>CTX-M-15</sub>-, <i>bla</i><sub>OXA-48</sub>- and <i>armA</i>-harbouring <i>K. pneumoniae</i> of ST23 and capsular serotype K1 in Spain. Our report emphasizes the importance of implementing new surveillance strategies to monitor the risk of emergence and spread of such XDR and hypervirulent <i>K. pneumoniae</i> isolates.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Carbapenem-resistant hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae strains have recently come into existence worldwide; however, researchers in northeast China are not aware of their clinical features and molecular characteristics. METHODS:Here, the molecular and virulent characteristics of 44 carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae (CRKP) isolates collected from January 2015 to December 2017 were studied. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) were carried out to define the clonal relatedness among the isolates. PCR and capsular serotyping of the virulence-associated genes, as well as biofilm formation and serum complement-mediated killing assays, were employed to determine the virulent potential. The genomic features and associated mobile genetic elements of JmsCRE57 were detected by whole genome sequencing. RESULTS:The only positive isolate was JmsCRE57, which belonged to the ST375 serotype K2 that expressed uge, mrkD, fimH, kpn, aerobactin and rmpA virulence-associated genes and showed strong biofilm formation and serum sensitivity. Sequencing results showed that the JmsCRE57 genome mainly consisted of a circular chromosome, three antimicrobial resistant plasmids and a virulent plasmid. The antimicrobial resistant plasmid expressing blaKPC-2, blaCTX-M-15, aph(3?)-Ib, aph(6)-Id, qnrB1, aac(3)-IIa, aac(6')-Ib-cr, blaOXA-1, blaTEM-1B, catB4, sul2, dfrA14 and blaSHV-99. The virulent plasmid belonged to the IncHI1B group, which is mainly composed of mucoid phenotype genes and siderophore-associated genes. The remaining CRKP strains that expressed uge, fimH, mrkD and kpn virulence-associated genes were not successfully typed. CONCLUSION:Our results provide new insights on the epidemiology of carbapenem-resistant K2 hypervirulent K. pneumoniae ST375 and CRKP ST76 strains in northeast China, which may help control their future outbreaks.
Project description:Community-acquired bacterial meningitis due to Klebsiella pneumoniae has mainly been described in Southeast Asia and has a poor prognosis. Severe invasive infections caused by K. pneumoniae, including meningitis, are often due to hypervirulent strains (hvKP), which are characterized by capsular serotypes K1 and K2, a gene responsible for hypermucoviscosity, and the cluster for synthesis of the siderophore aerobactin.A 55 year old man with a history of essential hypertension, benign prostate hyperplasia, hyperlipidemia, obstructive sleep apnea, and chronic alcoholism was admitted for meningitis due to Klebsiella pneumoniae with a wild-type susceptibility profile. Its genomic features were consistent with a capsular K2 strain belonging to clonal group 86 (CG86) displaying the large virulence of Klebsiella plasmid (pLVPK) with heavy metal resistance gene clusters, aerobactin, rmpA.This is the first case of community-acquired meningitis caused by a hypervirulent strain of hvKP ever reported in the Caribbean.
Project description:Hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae (hvKp) is globally disseminating as a community-acquired pathogen causing life-threatening infections in healthy individuals. The fact that a dose as little as 50 bacteria is lethal to mice illustrates the dramatic increase of virulence associated with hvKp strains compared with classical K. pneumoniae (cKp) strains, which require lethal doses greater than 107 bacteria. Until recently, these virulent strains were mostly antibiotic-susceptible. However, multidrug-resistant (MDR) hvKp strains have been emerging, spawning a new generation of hypervirulent "superbugs." The mechanisms of hypervirulence are not fully defined, but overproduction of capsular polysaccharide significantly impedes host clearance, resulting in increased pathogenicity of hvKp strains. While there are more than 80 serotypes of K. pneumoniae, the K1 and K2 serotypes cause the vast majority of hypervirulent infections. Therefore, a glycoconjugate vaccine targeting these 2 serotypes could significantly reduce hvKp infection. Conventionally, glycoconjugate vaccines are manufactured using intricate chemical methodologies to covalently attach purified polysaccharides to carrier proteins, which is widely considered to be technically challenging. Here we report on the recombinant production and analytical characterization of bioconjugate vaccines, enzymatically produced in glycoengineered Escherichia coli cells, against the 2 predominant hypervirulent K. pneumoniae serotypes, K1 and K2. The K. pneumoniae bioconjugates are immunogenic and efficacious, protecting mice against lethal infection from 2 hvKp strains, NTUH K-2044 and ATCC 43816. This preclinical study constitutes a key step toward preventing further global dissemination of hypervirulent MDR hvKp strains.