Carbapenem-resistant hypervirulent ST23 Klebsiella pneumoniae with a highly transmissible dual-carbapenemase plasmid in Chile

Galvez-Silva, Matias; Arros, Patricio; Berrios-Pasten, Camilo; Villamil, Aura; Rodas, Paula I.; Araya, Ingrid; Iglesias, Rodrigo; Araya, Pamela; Hormazabal, Juan C.; Bohle, Constanza; Chen, Yahua; Gan, Yunn-Hwen; Chavez, Francisco P.; Lagos, Rosalba; Marcoleta, Andres E.


Background The convergence of hypervirulence and carbapenem resistance in the bacterial pathogen Klebsiella pneumoniae represents a critical global health concern. Hypervirulent K. pneumoniae (hvKp) strains, frequently from sequence type 23 (ST23) and having a K1 capsule, have been associated with severe community-acquired invasive infections. Although hvKp were initially restricted to Southeast Asia and primarily antibiotic-sensitive, carbapenem-resistant hvKp infections are reported worldwide. Here, within the carbapenemase production Enterobacterales surveillance system headed by the Chilean Public Health Institute, we describe the isolation in Chile of a high-risk ST23 dual-carbapenemase-producing hvKp strain, which carbapenemase genes are encoded in a single conjugative plasmid. Results Phenotypic and molecular tests of this strain revealed an extensive resistance to at least 15 antibiotic classes and the production of KPC-2 and VIM-1 carbapenemases. Unexpectedly, this isolate lacked hypermucoviscosity, challenging this commonly used hvKp identification criteria. Complete genome sequencing and analysis confirmed the K1 capsular type, the KpVP-1 virulence plasmid, and the GIE492 and ICEKp10 genomic islands carrying virulence factors strongly associated with hvKp. Although this isolate belonged to the globally disseminated hvKp clonal group CG23-I, it is unique, as it formed a clade apart from a previously reported Chilean ST23 hvKp isolate and acquired an IncN KPC-2 plasmid highly disseminated in South America (absent in other hvKp genomes), but now including a class-I integron carrying bla(VIM-1) and other resistance genes. Notably, this isolate was able to conjugate the double carbapenemase plasmid to an E. coli recipient, conferring resistance to 1st -5th generation cephalosporins (including combinations with beta-lactamase inhibitors), penicillins, monobactams, and carbapenems. Conclusions We reported the isolation in Chile of high-risk carbapenem-resistant hvKp carrying a highly transmissible conjugative plasmid encoding KPC-2 and VIM-1 carbapenemases, conferring resistance to most beta-lactams. Furthermore, the lack of hypermucoviscosity argues against this trait as a reliable hvKp marker. These findings highlight the rapid evolution towards multi-drug resistance of hvKp in Chile and globally, as well as the importance of conjugative plasmids and other mobile genetic elements in this convergence. In this regard, genomic approaches provide valuable support to monitor and obtain essential information on these priority pathogens and mobile elements.

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Título según WOS: ID WOS:001183912900001 Not found in local WOS DB
Título de la Revista: BIOLOGICAL RESEARCH
Volumen: 57
Número: 1
Fecha de publicación: 2024


Notas: ISI