KPC enzymes in the UK an analysis of the first 160 cases outside the North-West region

Jacqueline Findlay, Katie L Hopkins, Michel Doumith, Danièle Meunier, Camilla Wiuff, Robert Hill, Rachel Pike, Richard Loy, Nazim Mustafa, David M Livermore, Neil Woodford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


OBJECTIVES: Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemases (KPCs) have been increasingly reported in the UK since 2003. We analysed patient and isolate data for KPC-positive bacteria confirmed by the national reference laboratory from UK laboratories from August 2003 to August 2014, excluding North-West England, where the epidemiology has previously been studied.

METHODS: MICs were determined by BSAC agar dilution. Carbapenem-resistant isolates lacking imipenem/EDTA synergy were tested by PCR for blaKPC. MLST and blaKPC sequencing were performed on a subset of isolates. Plasmid analysis was performed by transformation, PCR-based replicon typing and, in some cases, whole-plasmid sequencing. Patient data provided by the sending laboratories were reviewed.

RESULTS: Two hundred and ten isolates with KPC enzymes were submitted from 71 UK laboratories outside North-West England, representing 160 patients. All were Enterobacteriaceae, predominantly K. pneumoniae (82%; 173/210), and most (91%; 191/210) were from hospitalized patients. Analysis of 100 isolates identified blaKPC-2 (62%), blaKPC-3 (30%) and blaKPC-4 (8%). Clonal group (CG) 258 was dominant among K. pneumoniae (64%; 54/84), but 21 unrelated STs were also identified. Plasmid analysis identified a diverse range of plasmids representing >11 different replicon types and found in multiple STs and species. Most (34/35) plasmids with IncFIB/FIIK replicons exhibited >99% sequence identity to pKpQIL.

CONCLUSIONS: KPC enzymes are increasingly detected in Enterobacteriaceae in the UK, albeit without the major outbreaks seen in North-West England. K. pneumoniae CG258 are the dominant hosts, but plasmid spread plays a major role in KPC dissemination between other K. pneumoniae STs and enterobacterial species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1199-206
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Enterobacteriaceae
  • Enterobacteriaceae Infections
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Middle Aged
  • Multilocus Sequence Typing
  • Plasmids
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • United Kingdom
  • beta-Lactamases
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

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