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Full Paper | By Low et. al

The emergence of carbapenem resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae in Malaysia: correlation between microbiological trends with host characteristics and clinical factors



Carbapenem resistant Enterobacteriaceae is a growing concern worldwide including Malaysia. The emergence of this pathogen is worrying because carbapenem is one of the 'last-line' antibiotics. The main objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of genetic mechanisms and clinical risk factors of carbapenem resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (K. pneumoniae) in Malaysia.



In this study, seventeen carbapenem resistant K. pneumoniae strains isolated from a tertiary teaching hospital in 2013 were studied. Minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the bacterial strains was determined and genes associated with carbapenemases and extended-spectrum-beta-lactamases (ESBLs) were sequenced and compared with the closest representatives published in public domains.


All strains were also sub-typed using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Statistical analyses were performed to determine the correlation between risk factors for acquiring carbapenem resistant K. pneumoniae and in-hospital mortality.



The predominant carbapenemase was bla OXA-48, detected in 12 strains (70.59%). Other carbapenemases detected in this study were bla KPC-2, bla IMP-8, bla NMC-A and bla NDM-1. Nine different pulsotypes were identified and nine strains which were affiliated with ST101, the predominant sequence type had similar PFGE patterns (similarity index of 85%).


Based on univariate statistical analysis, resistance to imipenem and usage of mechanical ventilation showed a statistically significant effect separately to in-hospital mortality.



The diverse genetic mechanisms harbored by these carbapenem resistant K. pneumoniae facilitates its spread and complicates its detection.


Thus, correlation between microbiological trends with host characteristics and clinical factors will provide a better insight of rational treatment strategies and pathogen control.

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