Genomic Epidemiology of Carbapenem-Resistant Klebsiella in Qatar: Emergence and Dissemination of Hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae Sequence Type 383 Strains

Clement Kin Ming Tsui, Fatma Ben Abid, Khalil Al Ismail, Christi Lee McElheny, Muna Al Maslamani, Ali S. Omrani, Yohei Doi

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9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The emergence of carbapenem-resistant, hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae is a new threat to health care. We studied the molecular epidemiology of carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates in Qatar using whole-genome sequence data. We also characterized the prevalence and genetic basis of hypervirulent phenotypes and established the virulence potential using a Galleria mellonella model. Of 100 Klebsiella isolates studied, NDM and OXA-48 were the most common carbapenemases. Core genome single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis indicated the presence of diverse sequence types and clonal lineages; isolates belonging to Klebsiella quasipneumoniae subsp. quasipneumoniae sequence type 196 (ST196) and ST1416 may be disseminated among several health care centers. Ten K. pneumoniae isolates carried rmpA and/or truncated rmpA2, and 2 isolates belonged to KL2, indicating low prevalence of classical hypervirulent isolates. Isolates carrying both carbapenem resistance and hypervirulence genes were confined mainly to ST231 and ST383 isolates. One ST383 isolate was further investigated by MinION sequencing, and the assembled genome indicated that blaNDM was located on an IncHI1Btype plasmid (pFQ61_ST383_NDM-5) which coharbored several virulence factors, including the regulator of the mucoid phenotype (rmpA), the regulator of mucoid phenotype 2 (rmpA2), and aerobactin (iucABCD and iutA), likely resulting from recombination events. Comparative genomics indicated that this hybrid plasmid may be present in two additional Qatari ST383 isolates. Carbapenem-resistant, hypervirulent K. pneumoniae ST383 isolates pose an emerging threat to global health due to their simultaneous hypervirulence and multidrug resistance.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAntimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
Volume67
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 07-2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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