Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 32386410
Link to DOI – 10.1093/jac/dkaa137
J Antimicrob Chemother 2020 Aug; 75(8): 2087-2092
KPC-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae of clonal group 258 are prominent in healthcare settings in many regions of the world. The blaKPC gene is mostly carried by a multireplicon IncFIIk-IncFI plasmid suspected to be highly compatible and stable in this genetic background. Here, we analysed the genetic diversity of an ST512 K. pneumoniae population in a single patient.Twelve K. pneumoniae isolates (n = 5 from urine samples and n = 7 from rectal swabs) were recovered from one patient over a 2 month period. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing, plasmid extraction and WGS were performed on all isolates. The first K. pneumoniae isolate, D1, was used as a reference for phylogenetic analysis.Antimicrobial susceptibility testing, plasmid analysis and WGS revealed concomitant carriage of carbapenem-resistant and carbapenem-susceptible K. pneumoniae isolates of ST512, with the absence of the entire blaKPC-carrying plasmid in the susceptible population. Furthermore, 14 other genetic events occurred within the genome, including 3 chromosomal deletions (of 71 kb, 33 kb and 11 bp), 2 different insertions of ISKpn26 and 9 SNPs. Interestingly, most of the events occurred in the same chromosomal region that has been deleted independently several times, probably after homologous recombination involving 259 bp repeated sequences.Our study revealed (to the best of our knowledge) the first case of in vivo blaKPC-carrying plasmid curing and a wide within-patient genetic diversity of a single K. pneumoniae ST512 clone over a short period of carriage. This within-patient diversity must be taken into account when characterizing transmission chains using WGS during nosocomial outbreaks.