Klebsiella pneumoniae: characteristics of carbapenem resistance and virulence factors.

  • Esra Deniz Candan Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey.;
  • Nilüfer Aksöz Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey.;


Klebsiella pneumoniae, known as a major threat to public health, is the most common factor of nosocomial and community acquired infections. In this study, 50 K. pneumoniae clinical specimens isolated from bronchial, urea, blood, catheter, rectal, bile, tracheal and wound cultures were collected. These isolates were identified and carbapenem resistance was determined via an automated system, CHROMagar Orientation and CHROMagar KPC. The carbapenemase gene regions (blaIMP, blaVIM, blaOXA, blaNDM and blaKPC) and presence of virulence factors (magA, k2A, rmpA, wabG, uge, allS, entB, ycfM, kpn, wcaG, fimH, mrkD, iutA, iroN, hly ve cnf-1) of these isolates were determined by using Multiplex-PCR. The OXA-48 carbapenemase gene regions were determined in 33 of 50 K. pneumoniae strains. In addition, NDM-1 resistance in one, OXA-48 and NDM-1 resistance in four unusual K. pneumoniae isolates were detected. Virulence gene regions that were encountered among K. pneumoniae isolates were 88% wabG, 86% uge, 80% ycfM and 72% entB, related with capsule, capsule lipoprotein and external membrane protein, responsible for enterobactin production, respectively. Even though there was no significant difference between resistant and sensitive strains due to the virulence gene regions (P≥0.05), virulence factors in carbapenem resistant isolates were found to be more diverse. This study is important for both, to prevent the spread of carbapenem resistant infections and to plan for developing effective treatments. Moreover, this study is the first detailed study of the carbapenem resistance and virulence factors in K. pneumoniae strains.