Polyphasic characterization of carbapenemresistant Klebsiella pneumoniae clinical isolates suggests vertical transmission of the blaKPC-3gene
Journal article, 2021

Carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae are a major global threat in healthcare facilities. The propagation of carbapenem resistance determinants can occur through vertical transmission, with genetic elements being transmitted by the host bacterium, or by horizontal transmission, with the same genetic elements being transferred among distinct bacterial hosts. This work aimed to track carbapenem resistance transmission by K. pneumoniae in a healthcare facility. The study involved a polyphasic approach based on conjugation assays, resistance phenotype and genotype analyses, whole genome sequencing, and plasmid characterization by pulsed field gel electrophoresis and optical DNA mapping. Out of 40 K. pneumoniae clinical isolates recovered over two years, five were carbapenem- and multidrug- resistant and belonged to multilocus sequence type ST147. These isolates harboured the carbapenemase encoding blaKPC-3 gene, integrated in conjugative plasmids of 140 kbp or 55 kbp, belonging to replicon types incFIA/incFIIK or incN/incFIIK, respectively. The two distinct plasmids encoding the blaKPC-3 gene were associated with distinct genetic lineages, as confirmed by optical DNA mapping and whole genome sequence analyses. These results suggested vertical (bacterial strain-based) transmission of the carbapenem-resistance genetic elements. Determination of the mode of transmission of antibiotic resistance in healthcare facilities, only possible based on polyphasic approaches as described here, is essential to control resistance propagation.

Author

Catarina Ferreira

Universidade Catolica Portuguesa, Porto

Santosh Kumar Bikarolla

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Chemical Biology

Karolin Frykholm

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Chemical Biology

Saga Pohjanen

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Chemical Biology

Margarida Brito

Instituto Portugues de Oncologia de Francisco Gentil Porto

Catarina Lameiras

Instituto Portugues de Oncologia de Francisco Gentil Porto

O. C. Nunes

University of Porto

Fredrik Westerlund

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Chemical Biology

C. M. Manaia

Universidade Catolica Portuguesa, Porto

PLoS ONE

1932-6203 (ISSN)

Vol. 16 2 Febuary e0247058

Subject Categories

Microbiology

Microbiology in the medical area

Genetics

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0247058

PubMed

33635888

More information

Latest update

3/22/2021