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Publication    
Virulence, 2018, doi: 10.1080/21505594.2018.1456229.

Emergence of the third-generation cephalosporin-resistant hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae due to the acquisition of a self-transferable blaDHA-1-carrying plasmid by an ST23 strain
Yingzhou Xie, Lijun Tian, Gang Li, Hongping Qu, Jingyong Sun, Wei Liang, Xiaobin Li, Xiaoli Wang, Zixin Deng, Jialin Liu*, Hong-Yu Ou*

 Link to Virulence
 

Hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae variants (hvKP) have been increasingly reported worldwide. A serotype K1 and ST23 hvKP strain RJA166 with resistance to third-generation cephalosporins was isolated from the sputum specimen of an inpatient in Shanghai, China. Whole genome sequencing revealed that RJA166 carries a resistance plasmid pRJA166a. The blaDHA-1 and other resistance genes were inserted into a mosaic-like accessory region of pRJA166a with multiple mobile genetic elements. This IncHI5 plasmid is transferable to the hvKP and classic K. pneumoniae (cKP) strains and can be retained stably across transconjugants. Although the acquisition of pRJA166a would result in an extra fitness cost for the host, the mortality assay confirmed that the transconjugants exhibit similar virulence as the recipient. In this study, we elucidated that the emerging AmpC-producing hvKP resulted from the acquisition of a resistance plasmid conferring multidrug resistance. The spread of the blaDHA-1-carrying plasmid among K. pneumoniae might pose a new challenge to the clinical treatment of hvKP.

 


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