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Silent circulation of BKC-1-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae ST442: molecular and clinical characterization of an early and unreported outbreak

Martins, Willames M.B.S., Lenzi, Michael H., Narciso, Ana C., Dantas, Priscila P., Andrey, Diego O., Yang, Qiu E., Sands, Kirsty, Medeiros, Eduardo A., Walsh, Timothy R. and Gales, Ana C. 2022. Silent circulation of BKC-1-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae ST442: molecular and clinical characterization of an early and unreported outbreak. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents 59 (5) , 106568. 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2022.106568

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Objective To describe the undetected circulation of an epidemic BKC-1-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae ST442 clone, occasioning the first reported outbreak of the infrequent carbapenemase BKC-1. Methods Six hundred and forty-seven K. pneumoniae isolates (2008–2017) with reduced susceptibility to carbapenems were screened for blaBKC-1. BKC-1-positive isolates were typed using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and multi-locus sequence typing. Susceptibility profiles were determined by broth microdilution, and additional antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs) were investigated by polymerase chain reaction. Some isolates were submitted to full genomic characterization by whole-genome sequencing (Illumina MiSeq and MinIon), and in-vivo virulence studies using the Galleria mellonella model. Results Sixteen (2.5%) K. pneumoniae, from 15 patients, carrying blaBKC-1 were found between 2010 and 2012. Among these patients, the all-cause mortality rate was 54.5%. A major clone – A1-ST442 (13/16) – was isolated during the study period. The BKC-1-producing isolates had a multi-drug-resistant phenotype, remaining susceptible to gentamicin (87.5%) and ceftazidime-avibactam (100%) alone. The presence of two carbapenemases – blaBKC-1 and blaKPC-2 – was detected in six isolates, increasing the β-lactam minimum inhibitory concentration significantly. Additionally, other ARGs were identified on A1-ST442 and B1-ST11 clones. The B1-ST11 clone was more virulent than the A1-ST442 clone. Conclusion An undetected outbreak caused predominantly by a BKC-1-positive A1-ST442 clone between 2010 and 2012 was identified 10 years later in a Brazilian hospital. The misidentification of BKC-1 may have worsened the spread of resistant clones; this reinforces the need for correct and rapid identification of antimicrobial resistance mechanisms in hospitals.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0924-8579
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 22 July 2022
Date of Acceptance: 9 March 2022
Last Modified: 06 May 2023 07:23

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