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Boletín médico del Hospital Infantil de México

versión impresa ISSN 1665-1146


CRUZ-CORDOVA, Ariadnna et al. Pathogenic determinants of clinical Klebsiella pneumoniae strains associated with their persistence in the hospital environment. Bol. Med. Hosp. Infant. Mex. [online]. 2014, vol.71, n.1, pp.15-24. ISSN 1665-1146.

Background: Klebsiella pneumoniae is considered an opportunistic pathogen associated with nosocomial infections occurring mainly in pediatric patients, such as premature infants placed in intensive care units. The aim of this study was to characterize K. pneumoniae strains isolated from different clinical sources based on their resistance to antibiotics and the presence of virulence factors associated with their persistence in the hospital environment. Methods: Fifty clinical strains of K. pneumoniae isolated from urine, blood, catheters, and cerebrospinal fluid sources were characterized. Susceptibility testing of antibiotics was performed by the Kirby-Bauer method (Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute, 2010). The ability to form a biofilm was determined by the 96-well microplate method. Capsule and fimbrial structures were visualized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Adherence was evaluated on A549 and HT29 cells. Assessment for the presence and expression of the ecpA, fimH, and mrkA genes was performed by PCR and RT-PCR. Results: Clinical strains of K. pneumoniae were isolated from 48% of urine, 24% of blood, 18% of catheters, and 10% of cerebrospinal fluid. Ninety-two percent of the strains showed resistance to cefpodoxime, whereas few strains showed resistance to imipenem and meropenem (4 and 2%, respectively). The extended spectrum-type beta-lactamase (ESBL) phenotype was identified in 97% of the strains positive for resistance to third-generation cephalosporins. In addition, 88% of the strains were multidrug resistant. All strains were able to form biofilms. Capsule and fimbirial structures were visualized by TEM. Based on our adhesion assays, the A549 cell line was more permissive to K. pneumoniae strains than the HT-29 cell line. K. pneumoniae strains amplified and expressed ecpA (100/70%), fimH (98/2%), and mrkA (84/48%) genes, respectively. Conclusion: The K. pneumoniae strains exhibited features that allowed them to survive in the hospital environment (formation of biofilm) and resist antimicrobial therapy (multidrug resistant MDR strains). These strains also possessed a capsule, adhesive properties, and expression of genes encoding colonization factors that favor the selection and persistence of these strains in hospitals.

Palabras llave : K. pneumoniae; Multidrug resistance; Biofilm; Colonization factors.

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