Nosocomial spread of multi-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae containing a plasmid encoding multiple beta-lactamases

J Med Microbiol. 2005 Sep;54(Pt 9):885-888. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.46151-0.


Six Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates that exhibited resistance to a wide spectrum of antibiotics were recovered from the intensive care units in the First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China. All isolates contained two plasmids of approximately 95 kb and 200 kb. The 95 kb plasmid was shown to be transferable by conjugation experiments. Isoelectric focusing patterns of the beta-lactamases extracted from the six transconjugants were identical, displaying five pI bands: 5.4, 7.75, 8.0, 8.2 and 8.4. The band corresponding to a pI of 7.75 could be inhibited by cloxacillin but not clavulanic acid, while the other bands could be inhibited by clavulanic acid but not cloxacillin. The 95 kb plasmid was digested with HindIII and a recombinant plasmid pT948 was obtained. The insert was found to contain blaDHA-1, regulatory gene ampR and an insertion element (IS26), which was downstream of blaDHA-1. PCR and DNA sequencing results confirmed that the 95 kb plasmid encoded at least four beta-lactamase genes: blaTEM-1, blaSHV-12), blaCTX-M-3 and blaDHA-1. Epidemiological typing by PFGE of the six clinical isolates of K. pneumoniae demonstrated identical genotypic patterns. In conclusion, all results indicated that the six multi-drug resistant clinical isolates of K. pneumoniae most probably originated from one clone and caused a localized epidemic in the intensive care units.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • China / epidemiology
  • Conjugation, Genetic
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology
  • Cross Infection / microbiology
  • Cross Infection / transmission*
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Klebsiella Infections / epidemiology
  • Klebsiella Infections / microbiology
  • Klebsiella Infections / transmission
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / classification
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / drug effects*
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / enzymology
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / genetics
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plasmids / genetics*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • beta-Lactamases / genetics*
  • beta-Lactamases / metabolism


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • AmpC beta-lactamases
  • beta-Lactamases

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AY705809