RESISTANCE FACTORS OF KLEBSIELLA PNEUMONIAE BACTERIA DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC


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Abstract

Abstract. Multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae bacterial strains producing extended range of beta-lactamases or carbapenemases are of serious clinical concern. The aim of the study was to determine the resistance factors of K. pneumoniae strains isolated from the lower respiratory tract of patients diagnosed with community-acquired pneumonia during the COVID-19 pandemic. Materials and methods. The study of resistance to antimicrobial drugs included 138 strains of K. pneumoniae isolated from the sputum of patients treated in infectious diseases monohospitals in the city of Tyumen and the Tyumen region within the period from May 2020 to June 2021. Among the strains examined, 51.4% of them were isolated from SARS-CoV-2 positive patients. The presence of resistance genes was determined by PCR in 71 strains of K. pneumoniae (34 strains from COVID-19-positive and 37 strains from COVID-19-negative patients). Identification of isolated bacterial strains was carried out according to the protein spectra by using a desktop time-of-flight mass spectrometer with matrix laser desorption MALDI-TOF MS (Bruker, Germany). The belonging of the strains to the hypermucoid phenotype was determined using the string test. Sensitivity to antimicrobial drugs was assessed in the disk diffusion method on Muller-Hinton medium. The sensitivity of culture strains to bacteriophage preparations was determined by the drop method (spot-test). In the study, we used “Polyvalent Sextaphage Pyobacteriophage” and “Purified Polyvalent Klebsiella Bacteriophage”, JSC NPO Microgen, Russia. Detection of resistance genes to beta-lactam antibiotics by real-time PCR was carried out using the BakRezista kit (OOO DNA-technology, Russia). The results of the study evidence that K. pneumoniae bacteria isolated from COVID-19-positive and COVID-19-negative patients diagnosed with community-acquired pneumonia displayed a high resistance to antimicrobial drugs and commercial phage-containing drugs. Resistance of K. pneumoniae strains was recorded from 50% (to aminoglycosides and carbapenems) to 90% (to inhibitor-protected penicillins). Sensitivity to bacteriophages was noted on average in no more than 20% of strains. It is important to emphasize that strains isolated from COVID-19-positive patients more often showed a hypermucoid phenotype, suggesting a high bacterial virulence, and also showed greater resistance to all groups of antibacterial drugs examined in the study, which is confirmed by the presence of resistance genes of the ESBL group and carbapenemase. The results of the study suggest that the high level of resistance of K. pneumoniae strains isolated from COVID-19-positive patients is associated with immunosuppression provoked by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which contributes to their colonization by more virulent strains.

About the authors

O. N. Kolotova

Tyumen Region Infection Pathology Research Institute. Tyumen, Russia

Author for correspondence.
Email: colotova.ol@yandex.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0798-5549

junior researcher of the bacteriological laboratory

Russian Federation

L. V. Kataeva

Tyumen Region Infection Pathology Research Institute. Tyumen, Russia

Email: info@tniikip.rospotrebnadzor.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9966-8454

Candidate of Medical Sciences, Leading Researcher, Head of the bacteriogical Laboratory

Russian Federation

I. V. Bakshtanovskaya

Tyumen Region Infection Pathology Research Institute. Tyumen, Russia

Email: info@tniikip.rospotrebnadzor.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1365-7741

candidate of biological sciences, scientific secretary

Russian Federation

K. B. Stepanova

Tyumen Region Infection Pathology Research Institute. Tyumen, Russia

Email: info@tniikip.rospotrebnadzor.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6289-6274

Candidate of Medical Sciences, Leading Researcher

Russian Federation

T. F. Stepanova

Tyumen Region Infection Pathology Research Institute. Tyumen, Russia

Email: info@tniikip.rospotrebnadzor.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5420-0919

Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor, Director

Russian Federation

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Copyright (c) 2022 Kolotova O.N., Kataeva L.V., Bakshtanovskaya I.V., Stepanova K.B., Stepanova T.F.

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