Low prevalence of rmpA and high tendency of rmpA mutation correspond to low virulence of extended spectrum β-lactamase-producing klebsiella pneumoniae isolates

Wen Liang Yu, Mei Feng Lee, Hung Jen Tang, Ming Chung Chang, Yin Ching Chuang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Invasive syndrome caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae (KP), including liver abscess, is mainly caused by communityacquired strains with characteristics of positive hypermucoviscosity (HV) phenotype and regulator of mucoid phenotype A (rmpA) and transcriptional activator (rmpA2) genes. Extended-spectrum b-lactamase-producing KP (ESBLKP) is commonly nosocomial and rarely HV-positive. We aimed to explore the reasons of the rarer prevalence of HV phenotype, rmpA and rmpA2 as well as the virulence phenotype among the ESBL-KP isolates from clinical specimens than those non-ESBL isolates. The β-lactamase genes, rmpA, rmpA2 and genes for K capsule serotype of 440 KP isolates were analyzed. The virulence of the isolates was characterized by the mouse lethality experiments. The prevalence rates of HV phenotype (~50% vs. <10%) as well as rmpA and rmpA2 genes (~50-60% vs. <20-30%) were significantly higher in non-ESBL group than in the ESBL group (p <0.0001). Expression of HV phenotype in the rmpA-positive KP isolates was significantly rarer in the ESBL group than in non-ESBL group (33.3% vs. 91.9%, p <0.0001). The frameshift mutations of rmpA and/or rmpA2 corresponded to negative HV phenotype of KP isolates that harbored the rmpA and?or rmpA2, resulting in variable mouse lethality (LD50, ~103->5 × 107CFU). The mutation rates might significantly differ among KP isolates from various sources. Virulence was dependent on rmpA-related HV phenotype. In conclusion, ESBL-KP isolates were less hypermucoviscous and less virulent than non-ESBL KP isolates, mostly due to concurrently lower carriage and higher mutation rates of the rmpA and rmpA2 genes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-172
Number of pages11
JournalVirulence
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2015

Keywords

  • ESBL hypermucoviscosity
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae
  • RmpA gene
  • Spontaneous mutation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Microbiology
  • Parasitology
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology (medical)

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