Characteristics of Hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae: Does Low Expression of rmpA Contribute to the Absence of Hypervirulence?
ABSTRACT: 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:BACKGROUND:The definition of hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae (hvKp), traditionally regarded as hypermucoviscosity, is controversial. However, data based on both phenotype (hypermucoviscous) and genetic (aerobactin) criteria are limited. METHODS:A retrospective study was conducted in 175 geriatric patients between January 2008 and January 2014. The clinical and molecular data, including antimicrobial susceptibility testing, extended-spectrum-?-lactamase (ESBL) production, virulence gene, and multilocus sequence typing of the hvKp-group (hypermucoviscosity and aerobactin positive) were compared with those of classic K. pneumoniae (cKp) isolates. RESULTS:Of 175 Kp isolates, 45.7% were hvKp. In pathogenicity, K1, K2, magA, rmpA, and rmpA2 genes were strongly associated with hvKp (P?<?0.01). In the hvKp group, invasive infections (P?<?0.000), liver abscess (P?=?0.008), abdominal infection (P?=?0.002) and septic shock (P?=?0.035) are significantly higher than cKp group. Patients with better nutritional status were frequently infected with hvKp. However, host inflammatory reaction is most severe in hvKp group. Patients with diabetes (odds ratio [OR]?=?2.548) and digestive diseases (OR?=?2.196) are more likely to be infected with hvKp. Importantly, the detection of hvKp isolates increased from January 2008 to January 2010, January 2010 to January 2012, and January 2010 to January 2014 (12, 30, and 48 isolates, respectively). Overall, 16.3% of hvKp isolates produced ESBLs and 20.0% were MDR-hvKp. Multivariate analysis implied that infection occurred in the ICU (OR?=?5.826) and patients with indwelling stomach tubes (OR?=?6.461) are independent risk factors for ESBL-hvKp infection. CONCLUSIONS:HvKp, especially ESBL-hvKp and MDR-hvKp, is emerging in the elderly. It is essential to enhance clinical awareness and management of hvKp infections.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The comparisons of molecular characterization and antibiotic resistance of Klebsiella pneumoniae (KP) isolates from humans and other animal hosts are not well studied. Our goal was to compare the molecular epidemiology of KP strains that were isolated from urban rodents, shrews, and healthy people. RESULTS:K. pneumoniae (KP) isolates were isolated from fecal samples of rodents, shrews and healthy adults in 2015 in southern China. In total, 465 fecal samples were collected, of which 85 from rodents, 105 from shrews, and 275 from healthy adults. Antimicrobial susceptibility and production of extended-spectrum ?-lactamases (ESBL) of the isolates were tested. PCR-based methods were used to detect specific genes, including ESBL genes (blaTEM, blaSHV, and blaCTX-M) in ESBL-producing isolates, capsular serotypes (K1, K2, K5, K20, K54, and K57) in hypervirulent KPs (hvKPs), and virulence genes (magA, wcaG, rmpA, uge, kfu, and aerobactin) in hvKP isolates. Multilocus sequence type (MLST) and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) were performed to exclude the homology of these isolates. The carriage rate of KP in urban rodents and shrews (78.42%) was higher than that in healthy adults (66.18%) (?2?=?8.206, P?=?0.004). The prevalence rates of ESBL-producing isolates among rodents, shrews, and humans were 7.94, 12.79, and 17.03%, respectively. The positive rates of CTX-M, TEM and SHV types in ESBL-producing isolates were 29.79, 27.66, and 17.02%, respectively. Serotype K1, K5, K20, and K57 were detected in both small mammals and humans. PFGE typing revealed thirty-six clusters. PFGE cluster A was clustered by samples of shrews and healthy adult, with a similarity of 88.4%. MLST typing revealed thirty-eight types. ST23 and ST35 were detected in samples of shrews and healthy adults. ST37 was detected in samples of 2 rodents and a healthy adult. CONCLUSIONS:Overlapping serotypes of hvKP were observed in both the animals and humans. The same PFGE or MLST types were also found in isolates derived humans, rodents and shrews. Therefore, urban rodents and shrews might play a certain role in the transmission of drug-resistant and hypervirulent KP.
Project description:Hypervirulent variants of Klebsiella pneumoniae (hvKp) that cause invasive community-acquired pyogenic liver abscess (PLA) have emerged globally. Little is known about the virulence determinants associated with hvKp, except for the virulence genes rmpA/A2 and siderophores (iroBCD/iucABCD) carried by the pK2044-like large virulence plasmid. Here, we collected most recent clinical isolates of hvKp from PLA samples in China, and performed clinical, molecular, and genomic sequencing analyses. We found that 90.9% (40/44) of the pathogens causing PLA were K. pneumoniae. Among the 40 LA-Kp, K1 (62.5%), and K2 (17.5%) were the dominant serotypes, and ST23 (47.5%) was the major sequence type. S1-PFGE analyses demonstrated that although 77.5% (31/40) of the LA-Kp isolates harbored a single large virulence plasmid varied in size, 5 (12.5%) isolates had no plasmid and 4 (10%) had two or three plasmids. Whole genome sequencing and comparative analysis of 3 LA-Kp and 3 non-LA-Kp identified 133 genes present only in LA-Kp. Further, large scale screening of the 133 genes in 45 LA-Kp and 103 non-LA-Kp genome sequences from public databases identified 30 genes that were highly associated with LA-Kp, including iroBCD, iucABCD and rmpA/A2 and 21 new genes. Then, these 21 new genes were analyzed in 40 LA-Kp and 86 non-LA-Kp clinical isolates collected in this study by PCR, showing that new genes were present 80-100% among LA-Kp isolates while 2-11% in K. pneumoniae isolates from sputum and urine. Several of the 21 genes have been proposed as virulence factors in other bacteria, such as the gene encoding SAM-dependent methyltransferase and pagO which protects bacteria from phagocytosis. Taken together, these genes are likely new virulence factors contributing to the hypervirulence phenotype of hvKp, and may deepen our understanding of virulence mechanism of hvKp.
Project description:A hypervirulent <i>Klebsiella pneumoniae</i> (hvKp) pathotype is undergoing global dissemination. In contrast to the usual health care-associated epidemiology of classical <i>K. pneumoniae</i> (cKp) infections, hvKp causes tissue-invasive infections in otherwise healthy individuals from the community, often involving multiple sites. An accurate test to identify hvKp strains is needed for improved patient care and epidemiologic studies. To fill this knowledge gap, clinical criteria or random blood isolates from North American and United Kingdom strain collections were used to assemble hvKp-rich (<i>n</i> = 85) and cKp-rich (<i>n</i> = 90) strain cohorts, respectively. The isolates were then assessed for multiple candidate biomarkers hypothesized to accurately differentiate the two cohorts. The genes <i>peg-344</i>, <i>iroB</i>, <i>iucA</i>, plasmid-borne <i>rmpA</i> gene ( <sub><i>p</i></sub><i>rmpA</i>), and <sub>p</sub><i>rmpA2</i> all demonstrated >0.95 diagnostic accuracy for identifying strains in the hvKp-rich cohort. Next, to validate this epidemiological analysis, all strains were assessed experimentally in a murine sepsis model. <i>peg-344</i>, <i>iroB</i>, <i>iucA</i>, <sub><i>p</i></sub><i>rmpA</i>, and <sub><i>p</i></sub><i>rmpA2</i> were all associated with a hazard ratio of >25 for severe illness or death, additionally supporting their utility for identifying hvKp strains. Quantitative siderophore production of ?30 ?g/ml also strongly predicted strains as members of the hvKp-rich cohort (accuracy, 0.96) and exhibited a hazard ratio of 31.7 for severe illness or death. The string test, a widely used marker for hvKp strains, performed less well, achieving an accuracy of only 0.90. Last, using the most accurate biomarkers to define hvKp, prevalence studies were performed on two Western strain collections. These data strongly support the utility of several laboratory markers for identifying hvKp strains with a high degree of accuracy.
Project description:The aim of this work was to investigate the epidemiological and genetic characteristics of ESBL-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (ESBL-Kp) causing community-onset infections. K. pneumoniae isolates were collected from 31 Chinese secondary hospitals between August 2010 and 2011. Genes encoding ESBL and AmpC beta-lactamases were detected by PCR. The isolates were assigned to sequence types (STs) using multi-locus sequence typing (MLST). Eleven ESBL-Kp strains were selected for whole-genome sequencing (WGS) for investigating the genetic environment and plasmids encoding ESBL genes. A total of 578 K. pneumoniae isolates were collected, and 184 (31.8%) carried ESBL genes. The prevalence of ESBL-Kp varied from different geographical areas of China (10.2-50.3%). The three most prevalent ESBL genes were blaCTX-M-14 (n = 74), blaCTX-M-15 (n = 60), and blaCTX-M-3 (n = 40). MLST assigned 127 CTX-M-14 and CTX-M-15 producers to 54 STs, and CC17 was the most prevalent population (12.6%). STs (23, 37, and 86) that were known frequently associated with hypervirulent K. pneumoniae (hvKP) account for 14.1% (18/127). Phylogenetic analysis by concatenating the seven loci of MLST revealed the existence of ESBL-producing K. quasipneumoniae (two strains) and K. varricola (one strain), which was further confirmed by WGS. This study highlights the challenge of community-onset infections caused by ESBL-Kp in China. The prevalence of STs frequently associating with hvKP should be of concern. Surveillance of ESBL-KP causing community-onset infections now appears imperative.
Project description:Introduction:Klebsiella pneumoniae is one of the most important infectious agents in neonates. There are "classic" and hypervirulent strains of K. pneumoniae. The "classic" non-virulent strain of K. pneumoniae, producing extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs), is associated with nosocomial infections. Hypervirulent K. pneumoniae strains are associated with invasive infections in previously healthy adult people, and most of them exhibit antimicrobial susceptibility. The role of virulent strains of K. pneumoniae (including hv-KP) in neonatal infections is unknown. The aim of the study was the assessment of the impact of virulence factors and antibiotic resistance of K. pneumoniae strains on clinical features and outcomes of neonatal infection. Materials and Methods: Two groups of infants were enrolled. The first group consisted of 10 neonates with sepsis caused by K. pneumoniae. The second group consisted of 10 neonates with urinary tract infection (UTI) caused by K. pneumoniae. We investigated the susceptibility of K. pneumoniae isolates to antibiotics, the ability of the microorganism to produce ESBL, and virulence factors, including the rmpA gene, aerobactin, and colibactin genes. In neonates with sepsis, we investigated K. pneumoniae isolates, which was taken from the blood, in neonates with UTI-from the urine. Results: In neonates with sepsis testing of K. pneumoniae isolates for ESBL production was positive in 60% of cases, in neonates with UTI-in 40% of cases. All blood and urine ESBL producing K. pneumoniae isolates were resistant to ampicillins, including protected ones, and third-generation cephalosporins. At the same time, these isolates were sensitive to meropenem, amikacin, and ciprofloxacin. The rmpA gene was detected in four blood, and three urine K. pneumoniae isolates. In neonates with sepsis rmpA gene in two cases was detected in ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae isolates. They were infants with meningitis, and both cases were fatal. In the group of infants with UTI, the rmpA gene was detected only in K. pneumoniae isolates not producing ESBL. Aerobactin and colibactin genes were detected in two neonates with sepsis and in three neonates with UTI. In all cases, aerobactin and colibactin genes were detected only in rmpA-positive K. pneumoniae isolates. Out of three fatal outcomes, two cases were caused by hv-KP producing ESBL. Conclusion: The prevalence of virulent strains of K. pneumoniae among neonates with sepsis and other neonatal infection is higher than we think. The most severe forms of neonatal sepsis with an unfavorable outcome in our study were due to virulent strains of K. pneumoniae.
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.
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:Invasive syndrome caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae (KP), including liver abscess, is mainly caused by community-acquired strains with characteristics of positive hypermucoviscosity (HV) phenotype and regulator of mucoid phenotype A (rmpA) and transcriptional activator (rmpA2) genes. Extended- spectrum ?-lactamase-producing KP (ESBL-KP) is commonly nosocomial and rarely HV-positive. We aimed to explore the reasons of the rarer prevalence of HV phenotype, rmpA and rmpA2 as well as the virulence phenotype among the ESBL-KP isolates from clinical specimens than those non-ESBL isolates. The ?-lactamase genes, rmpA, rmpA2 and genes for K capsule serotype of 440 KP isolates were analyzed. The virulence of the isolates was characterized by the mouse lethality experiments. The prevalence rates of HV phenotype (? 50% vs. < 10%) as well as rmpA and rmpA2 genes (? 50-60% vs. < 20-30%) were significantly higher in non-ESBL group than in the ESBL group (p < 0.0001). Expression of HV phenotype in the rmpA-positive KP isolates was significantly rarer in the ESBL group than in non-ESBL group (33.3% vs. 91.9%, p < 0.0001). The frameshift mutations of rmpA and/or rmpA2 corresponded to negative HV phenotype of KP isolates that harbored the rmpA and/or rmpA2, resulting in variable mouse lethality (LD50, ? 10(3) - >5 × 10(7) CFU). The mutation rates might significantly differ among KP isolates from various sources. Virulence was dependent on rmpA-related HV phenotype. In conclusion, ESBL-KP isolates were less hypermucoviscous and less virulent than non-ESBL KP isolates, mostly due to concurrently lower carriage and higher mutation rates of the rmpA and rmpA2 genes.
Project description:Carbapenem-resistant, hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae (CR-hvKP) has recently emerged as a significant threat to public health. In this study, 29 K. pneumoniae isolates were isolated from eight patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) of a comprehensive teaching hospital located in China from March 2017 to January 2018. Clinical information of patients was the basis for the further analyses of the isolates including antimicrobial susceptibility tests, identification of antibiotic resistance and virulence gene determinants, multilocus sequence typing (MLST), XbaI-macrorestriction by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Selected isolates representing distinct resistance profiles and virulence phenotypes were screened for hypervirulence in a Galleria mellonella larvae infection model. In the course of the outbreak, the overall mortality rate of patients was 100% (n = 8) attributed to complications arising from CR-hvKP infections. All isolates except one (28/29, 96.6%) were resistant to multiple antimicrobial agents, and harbored diverse resistance determinants that included the globally prevalent carbapenemase bla KPC-2. Most isolates had hypervirulent genotypes being positive for 19 virulence-associated genes, including iutA (25/29, 86.2%), rmpA (27/29, 93.1%), ybtA (27/29, 93.1%), entB (29/29, 100%), fimH (29/29, 100%), and mrkD (29/29, 100%). MLST revealed ST11 for the majority of isolates (26/29, 89,7%). Infection assays demonstrated high mortality in the Galleria mellonella model with the highest LD50 values for three isolates (<105 CFU/mL) demonstrating the degree of hypervirulence of these CR-hvKP isolates, and is discussed relative to previous outbreaks of CR-hvKP.