Characterisation of the first ongoing outbreak due to KPC-3-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (ST512) in Spain

Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2014 Dec;44(6):538-40. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2014.08.006. Epub 2014 Sep 26.


The aim of this study was to characterise carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates that caused an outbreak in a hospital in the south of Spain, originating from a patient transferred in 2012 from Italy. Forty-four K. pneumoniae isolates, recovered from 28 patients, were screened by PCR for extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) and carbapenemase genes and the products were further sequenced. Plasmids were transferred by electroporation and were classified using PCR-based Inc/rep typing and IncF subtyping. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) were used to determine the genetic relatedness of the isolates. All isolates yielded positive modified Hodge test results, harboured bla(SHV-11), bla(TEM-1) and bla(KPC-3) genes, showed an identical PFGE pattern, and were assigned to clone sequence type 512 (ST512). The bla(KPC-3) gene was located on a 140-kb K2:A-:B-plasmid. In conclusion, the successful K. pneumoniae ST512 clone caused a major outbreak in Spain from an imported case and is the first description of an outbreak in this country due to the KPC-3-producing K. pneumoniae ST512 clone.

Keywords: KPC-3; Outbreak; ST512.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics*
  • Carbapenems / therapeutic use*
  • DNA, Bacterial / chemistry
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Pulsed-Field
  • Female
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Klebsiella Infections / drug therapy
  • Klebsiella Infections / epidemiology*
  • Klebsiella Infections / microbiology
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / classification
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / enzymology*
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / genetics
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / isolation & purification
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Multilocus Sequence Typing
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • beta-Lactamases / genetics*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Carbapenems
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • beta-Lactamases
  • beta-lactamase KPC-3, Klebsiella pneumoniae