Klebsiella pneumoniae is a highly drug-resistant human pathogen responsible for a variety of serious infections. Integrons, mobile genetic elements capable of integrating antibiotic resistance genes, and the capsule are important virulence factors that increase bacteria resistance to phagocytosis and antimicrobial agents. Molecular typing is an effective tool for identifying the likely etiology of infection. This study aimed to investigate the presence of the rmpA, wcaG, intI1, intI2, and intI3 virulence genes in clinical Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates, and explore their molecular genotypes by using ERIC-PCR. Fifty Klebsiella pneumoniae strains were isolated from various specimens. Antimicrobial resistance was evaluated by using the disc diffusion method. Five genes were amplified by conventional PCR. Genotyping was performed molecularly by using ERIC-PCR. Forty-seven isolates were multi-drug resistant. In all, 18%, 36%, and 98% of the 50 K. pneumoniae isolates were positive for rmpA, wcaG, and intI1 genes, respectively; however, all isolates were negative for intI2 and intI3 genes. Dendogram analysis of the ERIC-PCR results showed 49 distinct patterns, arranged in five clusters. Our study demonstrates high levels of antibiotic resistance and virulence among clinical isolates of K. pneumoniae. Such resistance reflects a growing problem for public health. Further, the presence of integrons increases the horizontal spread of antibiotic resistance and virulence genes among bacterial isolates. The ERIC-PCR technique is an effective method for molecular typing and epidemiological studies of hospital-acquired infections.
Egypt, genotyping, integrons, Klebsiella pneumoniae, PCR
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