A Whole-Genome Sequencing-Based Approach for the Characterization of <i>Klebsiella pneumoniae</i> Co-Producing KPC and OXA-48-like Carbapenemases Circulating in Sardinia, Italy


Background: Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) provides important information for the characterization, surveillance, and monitoring of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) determinants, particularly in cases of multi- and extensively drug-resistant microorganisms. We reported the results of a WGS analysis carried out on carbapenemases-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae, which causes hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) and is characterized by a marked resistance profile. Methods: Clinical, phenotypic, and genotypic data were collected for the AMR surveillance screening program of the University Hospital of Sassari (Italy) during 2020–2021. Genomic DNA was sequenced using the Illumina Nova Seq 6000 platform. Final assemblies were manually curated and carefully verified for the detection of antimicrobial resistance genes, porin mutations, and virulence factors. A phylogenetic analysis was performed using the maximum likelihood method. Results: All 17 strains analyzed belonged to ST512, and most of them carried the blaKPC-31 variant blaOXA-48-like, an OmpK35 truncation, and an OmpK36 mutation. Phenotypic analysis showed a marked resistance profile to all antibiotic classes, including β-lactams, carbapenems, aminoglycosides, fluoroquinolone, sulphonamides, and novel β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitors (BL/BLI). Conclusion: WGS characterization revealed the presence of several antibiotic resistance determinants and porin mutations in highly resistant K. pneumoniae strains responsible for HAIs. The detection of blaKPC-31 in our hospital wards highlights the importance of genomic surveillance in hospital settings to monitor the emergence of new clones and the need to improve control and preventive strategies to efficiently contrast AMR

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