pKBuS13, a KPC-2-Encoding Plasmid from Klebsiella pneumoniae Sequence Type 833, Carrying Tn4401b Inserted into an Xer Site-Specific Recombination Locus.

Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy

PubMedID: 26077252

Garbari L, Busetti M, Dolzani L, Petix V, Knezevich A, Bressan R, Gionechetti F, Tonin EA, Lagatolla C. pKBuS13, a KPC-2-Encoding Plasmid from Klebsiella pneumoniae Sequence Type 833, Carrying Tn4401b Inserted into an Xer Site-Specific Recombination Locus. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2015;.
Here, we report the first detection of a Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase 2 (KPC-2)-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae strain belonging to sequence type 833 (ST833), collected in an Italian hospital from a patient coming from South America. Its bla KPC determinant was carried by a ColE1 plasmid, pKBuS13, that showed the Tn4401b::bla KPC-2 transposon inserted into the regulatory region of an Xer site-specific recombination locus. This interfered with the correct resolution of plasmid multimers into monomers, lowering plasmid stability and leading to overestimation of the number of plasmids harbored by a single host cell. Sequencing of the fragments adjacent to Tn4401b detected a region that did not have significant matches in databases other than the genome of a carbapenem-resistant Escherichia coli strain collected during the same year at a hospital in Boston. This is interesting in an epidemiologic context, as it suggests that despite the absence of tra genes and the instability under nonselective conditions, the circulation of pKBuS13 or of analogous plasmids might be wider than reported.