The global spread of Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) is predominately associated with K. pneumoniae strains genotyped as sequence type 258 (ST258). The first ST258-Associated plasmid, pKpQIL, was described in Israel in 2006, but its history in the northeastern United States remains unknown. Six pKpQIL-like plasmids from four K. pneumoniae isolates (three ST258 and one ST234), one Escherichia coli isolate, and one Enterobacter aerogenes isolate, collected from 2003 to 2010 in New York (NY) and New Jersey (NJ) hospitals, were completely sequenced. The sequences and overall sizes of the six plasmids are highly similar to those of pKpQIL; the major difference is that five of six NJ/NY strains harbor blaKPC-2, while pKpQIL contains blaKPC-3. Moreover, a 26.7-kb fragment was inverted in pKpQIL-234 (from ST234 K. pneumoniae), while a 14.5-kb region was deleted in pKpQIL-Ec (from ST131 E. coli). PCR screening of 284 other clinical K. pneumoniae isolates identified 101 (35.6%) harboring pKpQIL-like plasmids from 9 of 10 surveyed hospitals, demonstrating the wide dissemination of pKpQIL in this region of endemicity. Among the positive isolates, 87.1% were typed as ST258 and 88.1% carried blaKPC-2. The finding of pKpQILlike plasmid in this study from strains that predate the initial report of KPC in Israel provides evidence that pKpQIL may have originated in the United States. Our findings demonstrate that pKpQIL plasmids are both spreading clonally in ST258 strains and spreading horizontally to different sequence types and species, further highlighting the clinical and public health concerns associated with carbapenem resistance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmacology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases