High prevalence of bla(CTX-M-15) and nosocomial transmission of hypervirulent epidemic clones of Klebsiella pneumoniae at a tertiary hospital in Ethiopia
Journal article, 2021
Background: Genomic epidemiology of antibiotic resistance is not sufficiently studied in low-income countries. Objectives: To determine prevalence of ESBL production, and resistome and virulome profiles, of Klebsiella pneumoniae isolated at Jimma Medical Center, Ethiopia. Methods: Strains isolated from patients with suspected infections between June and November 2016 were characterized by MALDI-TOF for species identification and disc diffusion for antimicrobial susceptibility testing. All K. pneumoniae isolates were characterized by double disc diffusion for ESBL production and all ESBL-producing strains (ESBL-KP) were subjected to WGS on the Illumina (HiSeq 2500) platform. DNA was extracted by automated systems (MagNA Pure 96). Genome assembly was performed using SPAdes (v. 3.9) and draft genomes were used for analysing molecular features of the strains. Maximum likelihood trees were generated using FastTree/2.1.8 based on SNPs in shared genomic regions to identify transmission clusters. Results: Of the 146 K. pneumoniae strains isolated, 76% were ESBL-KP; 93% of the ESBL-KP strains showed resistance to multiple antimicrobial classes. bla(CTX-M-15) (84.4%) was the most prevalent ESBL gene. Resistance genes for aminoglycosides and/or fluoroquinolones [aac(6)-Ib-cr (65.1%)], phenicols [catB3 (28.4%)], sulphonamides [sul1 (61.2%) and sul2 (60.5%)], trimethoprim [dfrA27 (32.1%)], macrolides [mph(A) (12.8%)] and rifampicin [arr2/arr3 (39.4%)] were prevalent. Plasmids of the IncF and IncR families were prevalent among ST218, ST147, ST15 and ST39. KL64 and KL57 capsular types and O1 and O2 LPSs were prevalent. A high-risk clone, ST218-KL57 encoding rmpA1/rmpA2 and iutA, was detected. Phylogenetic analysis showed a cluster of clonally related strains from different units of the hospital. Conclusions: Prevalence of ESBL-KP was high and bla(CTX-M-15) was the predominant ESBL gene. ESBL genes had spread through both clonal and polyclonal expansion of high-risk and hypervirulent clones. Nosocomial transmission of MDR strains between different units of the hospital was observed.