Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 32749955
Link to DOI – 10.1099/mgen.0.000419
Microb Genom 2020 08; 6(8):
Klebsiella pneumoniae (Kp) reference strain Kp52.145 is widely used in experimental Klebsiella pathophysiology. Since 1935, only one other strain of the same sublineage (sequence type ST66, capsular serotype K2) was isolated (AJ210, Australia). Here, we describe a community-acquired invasive infection caused by a ST66-K2 Kp strain in France. Four hypermucoviscous Kp isolates responsible for acute otitis media, meningitis, bacteraemia and bacteriuria, respectively, were obtained from a patient with a history of chronic alcoholism and diabetes mellitus, and infected with HIV. The isolates were characterized by phenotypic and genomic methods. The four genetically identical ST66-K2 isolates presented a full antimicrobial susceptibility profile, including to ampicillin, corresponding to a single strain (SB5881), which was more closely related to AJ210 (135 SNPs) than to Kp52.145 (388 SNPs). Colibactin and yersiniabactin gene clusters were present on the integrative and conjugative element ICEKp10 in the chromosome. The two plasmids from Kp52.145 were detected in SB5881. In addition to carrying genes for virulence factors RmpA, aerobactin and salmochelin, plasmid II has acquired in SB5881, the conjugation machinery gene cluster from plasmid I. We report the first case of community-acquired infection caused by a hypervirulent ST66-K2 Kp strain in Europe. This demonstrates the long-term persistence of the high-virulence and laboratory model ST66-K2 sublineage. The combination of a conjugative apparatus and major virulence genes on a single plasmid may contribute to the co-occurrence of hypervirulence and multidrug resistance in single Kp strains.