Genetic factors related to the widespread dissemination of ST11 extensively drug-resistant carbapenemase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae strains within hospital.

Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health)
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Chinese medical journal, 2020, 133, (21), pp. 2573-2585
Issue Date:
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Carbapenemase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (CP-Kp) poses distinct clinical challenges due to extensively drug resistant (XDR) phenotype, and sequence type (ST) 11 is the most dominant blaKPC-2-bearing CP-Kp clone in China. The purpose of this current retrospective study was to explore the genetic factors associated with the success of XDR CP-Kp ST11 strains circulated in the intensive care unit (ICU) of a Chinese tertiary hospital.


Six ST11 XDR CP-Kp strains were identified between May and December 2014 and validated by minimum inhibitory concentration examination, polymerase chain reaction, and pyrosequencing. The six ST11 XDR CP-Kp, as well as three multi-drug resistant (MDR) and four susceptible strains, were sequenced using single-molecule real-time method. Comprehensively structural and functional analysis based on comparative genomics was performed to identify genomic characteristics of the XDR ST11 CP-Kp strains.


We found that ST11 XDR blaKPC-2-bearing CP-Kp strains isolated from inpatients spread in the ICU of the hospital. Functionally, genes associated with information storage and processing of the ST11 XDR CP-Kp strains were more abundant than those of MDR and susceptible strains, especially genes correlative with mobile genetic elements (MGEs) such as transposons and prophages. Structurally, eleven large-scale genetic regions taken for the unique genome in these ST11 XDR CP-Kp strains were identified as MGEs including transposons, integrons, prophages, genomic islands, and integrative and conjugative elements. Three of them were located on plasmids and eight on chromosomes; five of them were with antimicrobial resistance genes and eight with adaptation associated genes. Notably, a new blaKPC-2-bearing ΔΔTn1721-blaKPC-2 transposon, probably transposed and truncated from ΔTn1721-blaKPC-2 by IS903D and ISKpn8, was identified in all six ST11 XDR CP-Kp strains.


Our findings suggested that together with clonal spread, MGEs identified uniquely in the ST11 XDR CP-Kp strains might contribute to their formidable adaptability, which facilitated their widespread dissemination in hospital.
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