June 9, 2020

Carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae evolution within a health care network

PIs: Courtney Luterbach (UNC), David van Duin (UNC), James Moody (Duke), Dana Pasquale (Duke)

Spring 2020 Seed Grant in Pathogenic and Commensal Organisms

The spread of multidrug resistant bacteria is an urgent threat. Carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (CRKp) are resistant to most antibiotics and clinical outcomes with CRKp infection are generally poor. Many genes conferring antibiotic resistance, including carbapenemases, are carried on mobile genetic elements (MGE). Selection for resistant strains following antibiotic use compounds this problem. CRKp is a key trafficker of MGE, which includes plasmids, integrative conjugative elements, transposons, and integrons. Tracking MGE transfer is critical for understanding nosocomial spread of AMR and identifying opportunities for therapeutic intervention. We plan to conduct a comparative genomic analysis of CRKp strains collected from hospitalized patients to characterize MGE evolution within a healthcare network.

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