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.
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