The making of hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae

J Clin Lab Anal. 2022 Dec;36(12):e24743. doi: 10.1002/jcla.24743. Epub 2022 Nov 8.


Klebsiella pneumoniae is a notorious bacterium in clinical practice. Virulence, carbapenem-resistance and their convergence among K. pneumoniae are extensively discussed in this article. Hypervirulent K. pneumoniae (HvKP) has spread from the Asian Pacific Rim to the world, inducing various invasive infections, such as pyogenic liver abscess, endophthalmitis, and meningitis. Furthermore, HvKP has acquired more and more drug resistance. Among multidrug-resistant HvKP, hypervirulent carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae (Hv-CRKP), and carbapenem-resistant hypervirulent K. pneumoniae (CR-HvKP) are both devastating for their extreme drug resistance and virulence. The hypervirulence of HvKP is primarily attributed to hypercapsule, macromolecular exopolysaccharides, or excessive siderophores, although it has many other factors, for example, lipopolysaccharides, fimbriae, and porins. In contrast with classical determination of HvKP, that is, animal lethality test, molecular determination could be an optional and practical method after improvement. HvKP, including Hv-CRKP and CR-HvKP, has been progressing. R-M and CRISPR-Cas systems may play pivotal roles in such evolutions. Hv-CRKP and CR-HvKP, in particular the former, should be of severe concern due to their being more and more prevalent.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Carbapenems / pharmacology
  • Klebsiella Infections* / epidemiology
  • Klebsiella Infections* / microbiology
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae*
  • Virulence
  • Virulence Factors


  • Carbapenems
  • Virulence Factors
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents