Genetic analysis of capsular polysaccharide synthesis gene clusters in 79 capsular types of Klebsiella spp

Sci Rep. 2015 Oct 23;5:15573. doi: 10.1038/srep15573.


A total of 79 capsular types have been reported in Klebsiella spp., whereas capsular polysaccharide synthesis (cps) regions were available in only 22 types. Due to the limitations of serotyping, complete repertoire of cps will be helpful for capsular genotyping. We therefore resolved the rest 57 cps and conducted comparative analysis. Clustering results of 1,515 predicted proteins from cps loci categorized proteins which share similarity into homology groups (HGs) revealing that 77 Wzy polymerases were classified into 56 HGs, which indicate the high specificity of wzy between different types. Accordingly, wzy-based capsular genotyping could differentiate capsule types except for those lacking wzy (K29 and K50), those sharing identical wzy (K22 vs. K37); and should be carefully applied in those exhibited high similarity (K12 vs. K41, K2 vs. K13, K74 vs. K80, K79 vs. KN1 and K30 vs. K69). Comparison of CPS structures in several capsular types that shared similarity in their gene contents implies possible functions of glycosyltransferases. Therefore, our results provide complete set of cps in various types of Klebsiella spp., which enable the understandings of relationship between genes and CPS structures and are useful for identification of documented or new capsular types.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Genes, Bacterial*
  • Klebsiella / genetics*
  • Multigene Family*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polysaccharides / biosynthesis*


  • Polysaccharides