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Molecular characterization of hypermucoviscous carbapenemase-encoding Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates from an Egyptian hospital.

This study aimed to screen antibiotic resistance and virulence genes in carbapenem-resistant hypermucoviscous Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates from an Egyptian hospital. Among 38 previously confirmed carbapenem-nonsusceptible K. pneumoniae isolates, a string test identified three isolates as positive for hypermucoviscosity. Phenotypic characterization and molecular detection of carbapenemase- and virulence-encoding genes were performed. PCR-based multilocus sequence typing and phylogenetics were used to determine the clonality and global epidemiology of the strains. The coexistence of virulence and resistance genes in the isolates was analyzed statistically using a chi-square test. Three isolates showed the presence of carbapenemase-encoding genes (blaNDM , blaVIM , and blaIMP ), adhesion genes (fim-H-1 and mrkD), and siderophore genes (entB); the isolates belonged to sequence types (STs) 101, 1310, and 1626. The relatedness between these sequence types and the sequence types of globally detected hypermucoviscous K. pneumoniae that also harbor carbapenemases was determined. Our analysis showed that the resistance and virulence profiles were not homogenous. Phylogenetically, different clones clustered together. There was no significant association between the presence of resistance and virulence genes in the isolates. There is a need for periodic surveillance of the healthcare settings in Egypt and globally to understand the true epidemiology of carbapenem-resistant, hypermucoviscous K. pneumoniae.

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