Comparisons of microbiological characteristics and antibiotic resistance of Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates from urban rodents, shrews, and healthy people

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Abstract

Background: The comparisons of molecular characterization and antibiotic resistance of Klebsiella pneumoniae (KP) isolates from humans and other animal hosts are not well studied. Our goal was to compare the molecular epidemiology of KP strains that were isolated from urban rodents, shrews, and healthy people. Results: K. pneumoniae (KP) isolates were isolated from fecal samples of rodents, shrews and healthy adults in 2015 in southern China. In total, 465 fecal samples were collected, of which 85 from rodents, 105 from shrews, and 275 from healthy adults. Antimicrobial susceptibility and production of extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBL) of the isolates were tested. PCR-based methods were used to detect specific genes, including ESBL genes (bla TEM, bla SHV, and bla CTX-M) in ESBL-producing isolates, capsular serotypes (K1, K2, K5, K20, K54, and K57) in hypervirulent KPs (hvKPs), and virulence genes (magA, wcaG, rmpA, uge, kfu, and aerobactin) in hvKP isolates. Multilocus sequence type (MLST) and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) were performed to exclude the homology of these isolates. The carriage rate of KP in urban rodents and shrews (78.42%) was higher than that in healthy adults (66.18%) (χ 2 = 8.206, P = 0.004). The prevalence rates of ESBL-producing isolates among rodents, shrews, and humans were 7.94, 12.79, and 17.03%, respectively. The positive rates of CTX-M, TEM and SHV types in ESBL-producing isolates were 29.79, 27.66, and 17.02%, respectively. Serotype K1, K5, K20, and K57 were detected in both small mammals and humans. PFGE typing revealed thirty-six clusters. PFGE cluster A was clustered by samples of shrews and healthy adult, with a similarity of 88.4%. MLST typing revealed thirty-eight types. ST23 and ST35 were detected in samples of shrews and healthy adults. ST37 was detected in samples of 2 rodents and a healthy adult. Conclusions: Overlapping serotypes of hvKP were observed in both the animals and humans. The same PFGE or MLST types were also found in isolates derived humans, rodents and shrews. Therefore, urban rodents and shrews might play a certain role in the transmission of drug-resistant and hypervirulent KP.

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Zhong, X. S., Li, Y. Z., Ge, J., Xiao, G., Mo, Y., Wen, Y. Q., … Chen, Q. (2020). Comparisons of microbiological characteristics and antibiotic resistance of Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates from urban rodents, shrews, and healthy people. BMC Microbiology, 20(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12866-020-1702-5

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