The rates of multidrug-resistant (MDR), extensively drug-resistant (XDR) and pandrug-resistant (PDR) isolates among Enterobacteriaceae isolates, particularly Klebsiella pneumoniae, have risen substantially worldwide.
To better understand the molecular mechanisms of drug resistance in K. pneumoniae, we analyzed the drug resistance determinants for K. pneumoniae isolates collected from the 306 Hospital, a tertiary-care hospital in Beijing, China, for the period of September 1, 2010-October 31, 2011. Drug susceptibility testing, PCR amplification and sequencing of the drug resistance determinants were performed. Conjugation experiments were conducted to examine the natural ability of drug resistance to disseminate among Enterobacteriaceae strains using a sodium azide-resistant Escherichia coli J53 strain as a recipient. Among the 223 consecutive non-repetitive K. pneumoniae isolates included in this study, 101 (45.3%) were extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs) positive. The rates of MDR, XDR, and PDR isolates were 61.4% (n = 137), 22.0% (n = 49), and 1.8% (n = 4), respectively. Among the tested drug resistance-associated genes, the following ones were detected at relatively high rates blaCTX-M-10 (80, 35.9%), aacC2 (73, 32.7%), dhfr (62, 27.8%), qnrS (58, 26.0%), aacA4 (57, 25.6%), aadA1 (56, 25.1%). Results from conjugation experiments indicate that many of the drug resistance genes were transmissible.
Our data give a “snapshot” of the complex genetic background responsible for drug resistance in K. pneumoniae in China and demonstrate that a high degree of awareness and monitoring of those drug resistance determinants are urgently needed in order to better control the emergence and transmission of drug-resistant K. pneumoniae isolates in hospital settings.