Carbapenem resistance mediated by plasmid-borne Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemases (KPC) is an emerging problem of significant clinical importance in Gram-negative bacteria. Multiple KPC gene variants (blaKPC) have been reported, with KPC-2 (blaKPC-2) and KPC-3 (blaKPC-3) associated with epidemic outbreaks in New York City and various international settings. Here, we describe the development of a multiplex real-time PCR assay using molecular beacons (MB-PCR) for rapid and accurate identification of blaKPC variants. The assay consists of six molecular beacons and two oligonucleotide primer pairs, allowing for detection and classification of all currently described blaKPC variants (blaKPC-2 to blaKPC-11). The MB-PCR detection limit was 5 to 40 DNA copies per reaction and 4 CFU per reaction using laboratory-prepared samples. The MB-PCR probes were highly specific for each blaKPC variant, and cross-reactivity was not observed using DNA isolated from several bacterial species. A total of 457 clinical Gram-negative isolates were successfully characterized by our MB-PCR assay, with blaKPC-3 and blaKPC-2 identified as the most common types in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan region. The MB-PCR assay described herein is rapid, sensitive, and specific and should be useful for understanding the ongoing evolution of carbapenem resistance in Gram-negative bacteria. As novel blaKPC variants continue to emerge, the MB-PCR assay can be modified in response to epidemiologic developments.
The aim of this study was the rapid identification of blaKPC gene in 38 Klebsiella pneumoniae clinical isolates with reduced susceptibility to carbapenems. The modified Hodge Test (MHT) was carried out to phenotypically determine whether resistance to carbapenems was mediated by a carbapenemase. The detection of the blaKPC gene was performed by real-time acid nucleic sequence-based amplification (NASBA™™), specifically designed for the detection of KPC RNA target.
Thirty-two/38 isolates evaluated by MHT showed the production of carbapenemases, while all the strains exhibited the production of KPC by inhibition test with phenylboronic acid (the combined disk test with IPM/IPM plus phenylboronic acid). The detection of blaKPC gene by Nuclisens EasyQ KPC yielded positive results in 38/38 (100%) strains. The presence of blaKPC gene was confirmed in all K. pneumoniae isolates when tested by the gold standard PCR assay.
In consideration of the serious challenge represented by infections due to K. pneumoniae it appears necessary the rapid identification of carbapenemases in clinical settings as it is made possible by the use of NASBA™ assay.
Klebsiella pneumoniae; Carbapenem resistance; blaKPC; NASBA™
We developed a novel real-time PCR assay to detect Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemases (KPCs) and used this assay to screen clinical isolates of K. pneumoniae and Klebsiella oxytoca for the presence of blaKPC genes. The TaqMan real-time PCR assay amplified a 399-bp product from the blaKPC gene. The amplicon was designed so that the genes for isoenzymes KPC-1, -2, and -3 could be easily distinguished by subsequent restriction digestion of the amplicon with the enzymes BstNI and RsaI. The assay was validated with reference strains obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that contained each of the three described isoenzymes and 69 extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing clinical isolates (39 K. pneumoniae and 30 K. oxytoca isolates). Subsequently, the blaKPC PCR assay was used to confirm the presence of blaKPC genes in any meropenem-resistant Klebsiella spp. The PCR assay detected blaKPC in all of the reference strains, in 6 of 7 meropenem-resistant isolates, and in 0 of 62 meropenem-susceptible clinical isolates. The PCR assay was then used to confirm the presence of blaKPC in an additional 20 meropenem-resistant isolates from 16 patients. Restriction digestion of the PCR amplicons identified two blaKPC gene variants in our patient population: 9 isolates with C and 17 with T at nucleotide 944, consistent with blaKPC-2 and blaKPC-3, respectively. The real-time PCR assay is a rapid and accurate method to detect all KPC isoenzymes and was useful in documenting the presence and dissemination of KPC-producing strains in our patient population.
KPC-type carbapenemases are emerging in Klebsiella pneumoniae and other Gram-negative pathogens worldwide. Rapid and sensitive detection of these resistance determinants has become relevant to clinical management and infection control. We evaluated the bioMérieux EasyQ real-time PCR assay for blaKPC detection with 300 members of the Enterobacteriaceae, including 29 control strains producing known carbapenemases and 271 nonreplicate clinical isolates. The EasyQ assay correctly detected all of the 111 isolates harboring blaKPC genes, with no false positives, and results were available within 2 h.
Carbapenem resistance among Enterobacteriaceae is an emerging problem worldwide. Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (blaKPC) enzymes are among the most common β-lactamases described. In this study, we report the development and validation of a real-time PCR (q-PCR) assay for the detection of blaKPC genes using TaqMan chemistry. The q-PCR amplification of blaKPC DNA was linear over 7 log dilutions (r2 = 0.999; slope, 3.54), and the amplification efficiency was 91.6%. The q-PCR detection limit was 1 CFU, and there was no cross-reaction with DNA extracted from several multidrug-resistant bacteria. Perianal/rectal swabs (n = 187) collected in duplicate from 128 patients admitted to Sheba Medical Center surgical intensive care units were evaluated for the presence of carbapenem-resistant bacteria by culturing on MacConkey agar-plus-carbapenem disks and for blaKPC genes by q-PCR. Carbapenem-resistant organisms, all K. pneumoniae, were isolated from 47 (25.1%) of the 187 samples collected, while blaKPC genes were detected in 54 (28.9%) of the patient samples extracted by the NucliSENS easyMAG system. Of these, seven samples were positive for blaKPC genes by q-PCR but negative for carbapenem resistance by culture, while all samples in which no carbapenem-resistant bacteria were detected by culture also tested negative by q-PCR. Thus, the sensitivity and specificity of the q-PCR assay after extraction by the NucliSENS easyMAG system were 100% and 95%, respectively. Similar values were obtained after DNA extraction by the Roche MagNA Pure LC instrument: 97.9% sensitivity and 96.4% specificity. Overall, the blaKPC q-PCR assay appears to be highly sensitive and specific. The utilization of q-PCR will shorten the time to blaKPC detection from 24 h to 4 h and will help in rapidly isolating colonized or infected patients and assigning them to cohorts.
A novel Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) variant, designated blaKPC-5, was discovered in a carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical isolate from Puerto Rico. Characterization of the upstream region of blaKPC-5 showed significant differences from the flanking regions of other blaKPC variants. Comparison of amino acid sequences with those of other KPC enzymes revealed that KPC-5 was an intermediate between KPC-2 and KPC-4, differing from KPC-2 by a single amino acid substitution (Pro103→Arg), while KPC-4 contained Pro103→Arg plus an additional amino acid change (Val239→Gly). Transformation studies with an Escherichia coli recipient strain showed differences in the properties of the KPC variants. KPC-4 and KPC-5 both had pIs of 7.65, in contrast with the pI of 6.7 for KPC-2. KPC-2 transformants were less susceptible to the carbapenems than KPC-4 and KPC-5 transformants. These data correlated with higher rates of imipenem hydrolysis for KPC-2 than for KPC-4 and KPC-5. However, KPC-4 and KPC-5 transformants had higher ceftazidime MICs, and the enzymes from these transformants had slightly better hydrolysis of this drug than KPC-2. KPC-4 and KPC-5 were more sensitive than KPC-2 to inhibition by clavulanic acid in both susceptibility testing and hydrolysis assays. Thus, KPC enzymes may be evolving through stepwise mutations to alter their spectra of activity.
Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemases (KPCs) have recently been described in Chicago, IL, especially among residents of long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs). These patients are frequently transferred to local Chicago hospitals for higher acuity of medical care, and rapid detection and isolation of KPC-colonized LTACH residents may interrupt the introduction of KPCs into acute care hospitals. We evaluated the performance of a real-time PCR for blaKPC from enrichment broth versus direct plating of rectal surveillance swabs on two selective culture media, CHROMagar extended-spectrum-β-lactamase (ESBL) and vancomycin, amphotericin B, ceftazidime, and clindamycin (VACC) plates. Rectal surveillance swabs were collected as part of a point prevalence study of KPC carriage rates among 95 residents of two Chicago area LTACHs. Discrepant results between PCR and culture were resolved by subculturing the enrichment broth. Overall, 66 of 95 patients (69.5%) were colonized with KPCs, using the cumulative results of culture as a reference standard. Real-time PCR from enrichment broth was positive in 64 of 66 (97%) colonized patients, including nine surveillance swabs that were missed by both selective culture media. PCR demonstrated higher sensitivity, 97.0%, than culture using either CHROMagar or VACC plates (both with sensitivity of 77.3%). In addition, turnaround time was significantly shorter for the PCR-based method than for culture, with a mean of 24 h versus 64 to 72 h for CHROMagar and VACC plates (P < 0.0001). Overall, PCR for blaKPC represents the best screening test for KPCs with significantly higher sensitivity and with less hands-on time, resulting in a shorter time to results.
We describe a multiplex real-time PCR assay capable of identifying both the epidemic Klebsiella pneumoniae ST258 clone and blaKPC carbapenemase genes in a single reaction. The assay displayed excellent sensitivity (100%) and specificity (100%) for identification of ST258 clone and blaKPC in a collection of 75 K. pneumoniae isolates comprising 41 sequence types. Our results suggest that this assay is an effective tool for surveillance of this clone among carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae clinical isolates.
A real-time PCR assay was developed targeting the blaKPC responsible for Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC)-mediated carbapenem resistance and was validated for testing colonies or enrichment broth cultures. The assay accurately detects KPC-containing strains with high analytical specificity and sensitivity.
In recent years, there have been increasing reports of KPC-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae in Korea. The modified Hodge test can be used as a phenotypic screening test for class A carbapenamase (CAC)-producing clinical isolates; however, it does not distinguish between carbapenemase types. The confirmation of type of CAC is important to ensure optimal therapy and to prevent transmission. This study applied a novel multiplex PCR assay to detect and differentiate CAC genes in a single reaction. Four primer pairs were designed to amplify fragments encoding 4 CAC families (SME, IMI/NMC-A, KPC, and GES). The multiplex PCR detected all genes tested for 4 CAC families that could be differentiated by fragment size according to gene type. This multiplex PCR offers a simple and useful approach for detecting and distinguishing CAC genes in carbapenem-resistant strains that are metallo-β-lactamase nonproducers.
Carbapenemase; Multiplex PCR; KPC; GES
Isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae harbouring the carbapenemase KPC may have carbapenem MICs that remain in the susceptible range, and may therefore go unrecognized. To understand the mechanisms contributing to the variability in carbapenem MICs, 20 clinical isolates, all belonging to either of two clonal groups of KPC-possessing K. pneumoniae endemic to New York City, were examined. Expression of genes encoding KPC, the porins OmpK35 and OmpK36, and the efflux pump AcrAB was examined by real-time RT-PCR. Outer-membrane profiles of selected KPC-producing isolates were examined by SDS-PAGE, and proteins were identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry. The identification of SHV and TEM β-lactamases and the genomic sequences of ompK35 and ompK36 were determined by PCR and DNA sequencing, respectively. For one clonal group, carbapenem MICs increased with decreasing expression of ompK36. A second clonal group also had carbapenem MICs that correlated with ompK36 expression. However, all of the isolates in this latter group continued to produce OmpK36, suggesting that porin configuration may affect entry of carbapenems. For isolates that had the greatest expression of ompK36, carbapenem MICs tended to be lower when determined by the broth microdilution technique, and scattered colonies were seen around the Etest zones of inhibition. All of the KPC-producing isolates were highly resistant to ertapenem, regardless of ompK36 expression. In conclusion, isolates of KPC-possessing K. pneumoniae that express ompK36 tend to have lower MICs to carbapenems and therefore may be more difficult to detect by clinical laboratories. Regardless of ompK36 expression, all of the KPC producers were consistently resistant to ertapenem.
Extended-spectrum ß-lactamases (ESBLs) and Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemases (KPC carbepenemases) have rapidly emerged worldwide and require rapid identification. The Check-Points ESBL/KPC array, a new commercial system based on genetic profiling for the direct identification of ESBL producers (SHV, TEM, and CTX-M) and of KPC producers, was evaluated. Well-characterized Gram-negative rods (Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii) expressing various ß-lactamases (KPC-2, SHV, TEM, and CTX-M types) were used as well as wild-type reference strains and isolates harboring ß-lactamase genes not detected by the assay. In addition, phenotypically confirmed ESBL producers isolated in clinical samples over a 3-month period at the Bicetre hospital were analyzed using the Check-Points ESBL/KPC array and by standard PCR. The Check-Points ESBL/KPC array allowed fast detection of all TEM, SHV, and CTX-M ESBL genes and of the KPC-2 gene. The assay allowed easy differentiation between non-ESBL TEM and SHV and their ESBL derivatives. None of the other tested ß-lactamase genes were detected, underlining its high specificity. The technique is suited for Enterobacteriaceae but also for P. aeruginosa and A. baumannii. However, for nonfermenters, especially P. aeruginosa, a 1:10 dilution of the total DNA was necessary to detect KPC-2 and SHV-2a genes reliably. The Check-Points ESBL/KPC array is a powerful high-throughput tool for rapid identification of ESBLs and KPC producers in cultures. It provided definitive results within the same working day, allowing rapid implementation of isolation measures and appropriate antibiotic treatment. It showed an interesting potential for routine laboratory testing.
To characterize isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae producing KPC carbapenemase (KPC-Kp) associated with an outbreak in a long-term acute care hospital (LTACH) in South Florida.
During 21 March to 20 April 2008, 241 K. pneumoniae isolates detected at Integrated Regional Laboratories (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) for which the ertapenem MICs were ≥4 mg/L were studied. PCR, cloning and sequence analysis were used to detect blaKPC and to characterize the β-lactamase and outer membrane proteins (Omps). The expression level of KPC enzymes was studied by immunoblotting. Genetic relatedness of isolates was investigated with rep-PCR and PFGE. Clinical records of patients were investigated.
Seven KPC-Kp strains were isolated from different patients located at a single LTACH, with a further three isolates being recovered from patients at different hospitals. All KPC-Kp isolates in patients from the LTACH and from one hospital patient were genetically related and shared PFGE patterns that clustered with known sequence type (ST) 258 strains. These strains were highly resistant to carbapenems (MICs ≥ 32 mg/L) due to an increased level of KPC expression and loss of Omps. Rectal colonization was documented in all LTACH patients with KPC-Kp isolates. Treatment failures were common (crude mortality rate of 69%). Active surveillance and enhanced infection control practices terminated the KPC-Kp outbreak.
The detection of KPC-Kp in an LTACH represents a serious infection control and therapeutic challenge in a new clinical setting. The speed at which the epidemic of KPC-Kp is spreading in our healthcare system mandates urgent action.
LTCF; porins; carbapenemases; Enterobacteriaceae; outbreak
Meropenem heteroresistance was investigated in six apparently meropenem-susceptible, Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC)-producing K. pneumoniae (KPC-KP) clinical isolates, compared with that in carbapenemase-negative, meropenem-susceptible controls. In population analyses, the KPC-KP isolates grew at meropenem concentrations of 64 to 256 μg/ml. Heteroresistant colonies had significantly elevated expression of the blaKPC gene compared with the native populations but did not retain heteroresistance when subcultured in drug-free media. Time-kill assays indicated that meropenem alone was not bactericidal against KPC-KP but efficiently killed the control strains.
The novel real-time PCR assay developed as described here was able to detect blaKPC1/2-12 (blaKPC-1/2 to blaKPC-12) from easily available clinical specimens in less than 2 h. The genotypic assay was highly sensitive (100%) and specific (98%). In some cases, it was able to detect blaKPC 48 h before positive detection by standard phenotypic assay on patients who were monitored daily. The high sensitivity and rapidity of the molecular method make it the method of choice for KPC surveillance and, thus, containment purposes.
Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemases (KPCs) producing bacteria have emerged as a cause of multidrug-resistant nosocomial infections worldwide. KPCs are plasmid-encoded enzymes capable of hydrolysing a broad spectrum of beta-lactams, including carbapenems and monobactams, therefore worryingly limiting antimicrobial treatment options. Analysis of circulating bacterial strains and KPC alleles may help understanding the route of KPC dissemination and therefore help containing the infection.
KPC-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae dissemination in two 1580- and 300- bed hospitals in Padua, Italy, from initial outbreak in 2009 to late 2011 was analysed. Molecular and clinical epidemiology, including bacterial strains, KPC-encoding plasmid sequences and associated resistance genes, involved hospital wards and relocation of patients were described. Routine antimicrobial susceptibility testing and MIC of carbapenems on clinical isolates were performed. Detection of resistance genes was obtained by PCR and sequencing. MLST, PFGE and ERIC were used for molecular genotyping. Plasmid analysis was obtained by digestion with restriction enzymes and deep sequencing.
KPC-positive clinical samples were isolated from nearly 200 patients. In the initial outbreak intensive care units were almost exclusively involved, while medical, surgical and long-term wards were successively massively concerned. Analysis of KPC alleles, plasmids and bacterial sequence types (STs) indicated that during the initial outbreak KPC-3 in ST258 and KPC-2 in ST147 were each confined in one of the two surveilled hospitals. While KPC-2 dissemination was effectively contained, KPC-3 in ST258 cross-spreading was observed. The simultaneous presence of two carbapenemases, VIM-1 and KPC-2, in the same isolate was also observed in three patients. Total sequencing of plasmid content of two KPC-3 strains showed novel association of resistance plasmids.
The acquired molecular epidemiology demonstrated that 1) both acquisitions from outward sources and patient relocation within the hospitals were responsible for the observed spreading; 2) KPC-3-encoding Klebsiella pneumoniae ST258 prevailed over other strains. In addition, the described massive transfer of KPC-mediated resistance to non-intensive care units may anticipate spreading of resistance to the non-hospitalized population. Therefore, genotypic analysis alongside phenotypic identification of carbapenemase producers, also at the carriage state, is advisable to prevent and contain further carbapenemase resistance dissemination.
KPC; Carbapenemase; Klebsiella pneumoniae; Plasmid-mediated antimicrobial resistance; Gram-negative; Nosocomial infections
The growing crisis of multidrug-resistant (MDR) Gram-negative bacteria requires that current technologies permit the rapid detection of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (blaESBL) and Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (blaKPC) genes. In the present study, we assessed the performance characteristics of a commercially available nucleic acid microarray system for the detection of blaESBL and blaKPC genes directly from positive blood cultures. Using blood cultures (BCs) that contained Gram-negative bacilli identified by Gram staining, we isolated bacterial DNA using spin columns (BC-C) and rapid water lysis (BC-W). Twenty ESBL/KPC-positive and 20 ESBL/KPC-negative blood culture samples, as well as 20 non-lactose-fermenting organisms, were tested. The 20 isolates that were ESBL positive by phenotypic testing were also evaluated on solid medium (SM), and the DNA was extracted by use of a spin column (SM-C). The resulting 140 DNA extractions were assessed for DNA quantity and quality using 260/280-nm absorbance ratios, and DNA microarray analysis was performed in a blinded fashion. Microarray and phenotypic results were concordant for 98.3% of BC-W, 90% of BC-C, and 95% of SM-C samples. Compared to phenotypic testing, the sensitivity and specificity for BC-C samples were 88.9% and 100%, respectively, and for BC-W samples, the sensitivity and specificity were 94.4% and 100%, respectively. BC-W samples yielded the highest concordance with phenotypic results. Nucleic acid microarrays offer promise in the identification of blaESBL and blaKPC genes directly from blood cultures, thereby reducing the time to identification of these important pathogens.
Enterobacteriaceae bacteria harboring Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase are a serious worldwide threat. The molecular identification of these pathogens is not routine in Brazilian hospitals, and a rapid phenotypic screening test is desirable. This study aims to evaluate the modified Hodge test as a phenotypic screening test for Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase.
From April 2009 to July 2011, all Enterobacteriaceae bacteria that were not susceptible to ertapenem according to Vitek2 analysis were analyzed with the modified Hodge test. All positive isolates and a random subset of negative isolates were also assayed for the presence of blaKPC. Isolates that were positive in modified Hodge tests were sub-classified as true-positives (E. coli touched the ertapenem disk) or inconclusive (distortion of the inhibition zone of E. coli, but growth did not reach the ertapenem disk). Negative results were defined as samples with no distortion of the inhibition zone around the ertapenem disk.
Among the 1521 isolates of Enterobacteriaceae bacteria that were not susceptible to ertapenem, 30% were positive for blaKPC, and 35% were positive according to the modified Hodge test (81% specificity). Under the proposed sub-classification, true positives showed a 98% agreement with the blaKPC results. The negative predictive value of the modified Hodge test for detection was 100%. KPC producers showed high antimicrobial resistance rates, but 90% and 77% of these isolates were susceptible to aminoglycoside and tigecycline, respectively.
Standardizing the modified Hodge test interpretation may improve the specificity of KPC detection. In this study, negative test results ruled out 100% of the isolates harboring Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase-2. The test may therefore be regarded as a good epidemiological tool.
Modified Hodge Test; KPC; Carbapenemase; Ertapenem
Carbapenem resistance due to KPC has rarely been observed outside the United States. We noticed a sharp increase in carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae strains possessing KPC in Tel Aviv Medical Center from 2004 to 2006. Sixty percent of the isolates belonged to a single clone susceptible only to gentamicin and colistin and carried the blaKPC-3 gene, while almost all other clones carried the blaKPC-2 gene. This rapid dissemination of KPC outside the United States is worrisome.
The spread of carbapenem-resistant members of the Enterobacteriaceae family (CRE) harboring carbapenemases is an emerging public health threat. As KPC-producing Klebsiella species are endemic in our tertiary care hospital, we aimed to evaluate a PCR-based surveillance test for identification of rectal carriage of KPC-producing CRE. We conducted a surveillance study between May and December 2007. Rectal swabs were collected from patients known to harbor CRE and from contacts of newly discovered patients harboring CRE. Specimens were evaluated by culture and by PCR analysis for blaKPC and were defined as positive if CRE was cultured and blaKPC was identified. Discrepant results between the culture and PCR analysis were resolved by subculturing, repeating the PCR, and performing a hydrolysis assay. Positive CRE cultures prior or subsequent to the time of sampling for the study were also taken into consideration. Sensitivity, specificity, and time to result were calculated. A total of 755 swabs were included. Concordant results were documented for 735 specimens; 51 were positive as determined by both PCR and culture. Discrepancies existed for 20 swabs; 9 were blaKPC negative and CRE culture positive, and 11 were blaKPC positive and CRE culture negative. After repeat testing, a total of 64 samples were classified as blaKPC-positive CRE. The sensitivity and specificity of the PCR analysis were 92.2% and 99.6%, respectively, and those of the culture were 87.5% and 99.4%, respectively. Over the last 3 months of the study, the sensitivity of the PCR improved to 96.3%, versus 77.8% for culture. Time to result was 30 h for the PCR and 60 h (negative) and 75 h (positive) for the CRE culture. blaKPC PCR-based testing is a useful method for the surveillance of KPC-producing CRE. Its main advantage over culturing is a shorter time to result, and it may prove to be more sensitive.
We describe the levels of agreement between broth microdilution, Etest, Vitek 2, Sensititre, and MicroScan methods to accurately define the meropenem MIC and categorical interpretation of susceptibility against carbapenemase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (KPC). A total of 46 clinical K. pneumoniae isolates with KPC genotypes, all modified Hodge test and blaKPC positive, collected from two hospitals in NY were included. Results obtained by each method were compared with those from broth microdilution (the reference method), and agreement was assessed based on MICs and Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) interpretative criteria using 2010 susceptibility breakpoints. Based on broth microdilution, 0%, 2.2%, and 97.8% of the KPC isolates were classified as susceptible, intermediate, and resistant to meropenem, respectively. Results from MicroScan demonstrated the most agreement with those from broth microdilution, with 95.6% agreement based on the MIC and 2.2% classified as minor errors, and no major or very major errors. Etest demonstrated 82.6% agreement with broth microdilution MICs, a very major error rate of 2.2%, and a minor error rate of 2.2%. Vitek 2 MIC agreement was 30.4%, with a 23.9% very major error rate and a 39.1% minor error rate. Sensititre demonstrated MIC agreement for 26.1% of isolates, with a 3% very major error rate and a 26.1% minor error rate. Application of FDA breakpoints had little effect on minor error rates but increased very major error rates to 58.7% for Vitek 2 and Sensititre. Meropenem MIC results and categorical interpretations for carbapenemase-producing K. pneumoniae differ by methodology. Confirmation of testing results is encouraged when an accurate MIC is required for antibiotic dosing optimization.
Carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella strains carrying Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemases (KPC) are endemic to New York City and are spreading across the United States and internationally. Recent studies have indicated that the KPC structural gene is located on a 10-kb plasmid-borne element designated Tn4401. Fourteen Klebsiella pneumoniae strains and one Klebsiella oxytoca strain isolated at a New York City hospital in 2005 carrying either blaKPC-2 or blaKPC-3 were examined for isoforms of Tn4401. Ten of the Klebsiella strains contained a 100-bp deletion in Tn4401, corresponding to the Tn4401a isoform. The presence of this deletion adjacent to the upstream promoter region of blaKPC in Tn4401a resulted in a different −35 promoter sequence of TGGAGA than that of CTGATT present in isoform Tn4401b. Complete sequencing of one plasmid carrying blaKPC from each of three nonclonal isolates indicated the presence of genes encoding other types of antibiotic resistance determinants. The 70.6-kb plasmid from K. pneumoniae strain S9 carrying blaKPC-2 revealed two identical copies of Tn4401b inserted in an inverse fashion, but in this case, one of the elements disrupted a group II self-splicing intron. In K. pneumoniae strain S15, the Tn4401a element carrying blaKPC-2 was found on both a large 120-kb plasmid and a smaller 24-kb plasmid. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis results indicate that the isolates studied represent a heterogeneous group composed of unrelated as well as closely related Klebsiella strains. Our results suggest that endemic KPC-positive Klebsiella strains constitute a generally nonclonal population comprised of various alleles of blaKPC on several distinct plasmid genetic backgrounds. This study increases our understanding of the genetic composition of the evolving and expanding role of KPC-producing, healthcare-associated, gram-negative pathogens.
Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC)-producing organisms are therapeutically and diagnostically challenging. It is possible that blaKPC gene expression plays a role in the variability observed in clinical susceptibility testing. blaKPC transformants together with 10 clinical isolates representing four genera were evaluated for blaKPC copy number and gene expression and correlated with β-lactam MIC data. The data suggest that mechanisms other than gene copy number and expression of blaKPC contribute to variability in susceptibility when testing KPC-producing isolates.
Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC)-producing bacteria are a group of emerging highly drug-resistant Gram-negative bacilli causing infections associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Once confined to outbreaks in the northeastern United States (US), they have spread throughout the US and most of the world. KPCs are an important mechanism of resistance for an increasingly wide range of Gram-negative bacteria and are no longer limited to K pneumoniae. KPC-producing bacteria are often misidentified by routine microbiological susceptibility testing and incorrectly reported as sensitive to carbapenems; however, resistance to the carbapenem antibiotic ertapenem is common and a better indicator of the presence of KPCs. Carbapenem antibiotics are generally not effective against KPC-producing organisms. The best therapeutic approach to KPC-producing organisms has yet to be defined; however, common treatments based on in vitro susceptibility testing are the polymyxins, tigecycline, and less frequently aminoglycoside antibiotics. The purpose of this review is to identify the various challenges that KPC-producing bacteria present to clinicians. These include the need for special techniques for microbiological detection, the potential for nosocomial transmission, and therapeutic challenges related to limited, relatively unproven antimicrobial treatment options.
Enterobacteriaceae; multi-drug resistant; carbapenem-resistant; Klebsiella
The emergence of KPC-producing K. pneumoniae has now become a global concern. KPC beta-lactamases are plasmid-borne and, like extended spectrum beta lactamases (ESBLs), can accumulate and transfer resistance determinants to other classes of antibiotics. Therefore, infection control guidelines on early identification and control of the spread of organisms carrying these resistant determinants are needed.
Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) was detected in two isolates of carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae obtained from patients at an Italian teaching hospital. The first strain was isolated from a culture drawn from a central venous device (CVC) in a patient with Crohn's disease who was admitted to a gastroenterology ward. The second was isolated from a urine sample collected from an indwelling urinary catheter in an intensive care unit (ICU) patient with a subdural haematoma. The patients had not travelled abroad. Both isolates were resistant to all β-lactams and were susceptible to imipenem and meropenem but resistant to ertapenem. Isolates also showed resistance to other classes of non-β-lactam antibiotics, such as quinolones, aminoglycosides (with the exception for amikacin), trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX) and nitrofurantoin. They were determined to contain the plasmid encoding the carbapenemase gene bla-KPC and were also positive in the Hodge test.
This is the second report of KPC-producing isolates in Italy, but the first concerning KPC type 2 gene, and it may have important implications for controlling the transmission of microorganisms resistant to antibiotics.