Strains previously classified as members of Klebsiella pneumoniae phylogroups KpI, KpII-A, KpII-B and KpIII were characterized by 16S rRNA (rrs) gene sequencing, multilocus sequence analysis based on rpoB, fusA, gapA, gyrA and leuS genes, average nucleotide identity and biochemical characteristics. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that KpI and KpIII corresponded to K. pneumoniae and Klebsiella variicola, respectively, whereas KpII-A and KpII-B formed two well-demarcated sequence clusters distinct from other members of the genus Klebsiella. Average nucleotide identity between KpII-A and KpII-B was 96.4 %, whereas values lower than 94 % were obtained for both groups when compared with K. pneumoniae and K. variicola. Biochemical properties differentiated KpII-A, KpII-B, K. pneumoniae and K. variicola, with acid production from adonitol and l-sorbose and ability to use 3-phenylproprionate, 5-keto-d-gluconate and tricarballylic acid as sole carbon sources being particularly useful. Based on their genetic and phenotypic characteristics, we propose the names Klebsiella quasipneumoniae subsp. quasipneumoniae subsp. nov. and K. quasipneumoniae subsp. similipneumoniae subsp. nov. for strains of KpII-A and KpII-B, respectively. The type strain of K. quasipneumoniae sp. nov. and of K. quasipneumoniae subsp. quasipneumoniae subsp. nov. is 01A030(T) ( = SB11(T) = CIP 110771(T) = DSM 28211(T)). The type strain of K. quasipneumoniae subsp. similipneumoniae subsp. nov. is 07A044(T) ( = SB30(T) = CIP 110770(T) = DSM 28212(T)). Both strains were isolated from human blood cultures. This work also showed that Klebsiella singaporensis is a junior heterotypic synonym of K. variicola.
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