The development and assessment of a bacteriocin typing method for Klebsiella

J Hyg (Lond). 1979 Apr;82(2):207-23. doi: 10.1017/s0022172400025626.


Klebsiellas are generally typed by the method of capsular serotyping but, although this is a reliable method, it is time consuming, requires the production of a large number of antisera and is not generally available. For this reason another method for typing klebsiellas was sought. A bacteriocin typing method involving mitomycin C induction was developed and the cultural conditions giving optimum klebecin production and the best methods of testing the sensitivity of the organisms to klebecins were determined. Of 190 klebsiella strains screened for bacteriocinogeny, only 68 (35.8%) produced klebecin and after calculation of similarity values by computer analysis, a typing set of 15 producers was selected. This typing set allowed over 96% of klebsiella strains to be typed and tests of the reproducibility of the method and the variability of typing patterns in natural populations of klebsiella indicated that results of acceptable accuracy could be obtained, while retaining good discrimination if two or more differences were required between patterns before they were regarded as distinct. A complete set of capsular antisera were prepared, enabling the results obtained from klebecin typing to be compared with those from serotyping. There was generally close agreement between the results from the two typing methods and greater discrimination was obtained between similar strains when the two methods were combined. Klebecin typing and serotyping revealed relationships between strains from five outbreaks of infection, and strains of the same serotype from different hospitals could frequently be distinguished by their klebecin typing patterns.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriocins / analysis*
  • Bacteriocins / biosynthesis
  • Bacteriological Techniques*
  • Cross Infection / microbiology
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Humans
  • Klebsiella / classification*
  • Klebsiella / metabolism
  • Klebsiella Infections / microbiology*
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / classification
  • Serotyping


  • Bacteriocins