Common and distinctive genomic features of Klebsiella pneumoniae thriving in the natural environment or in clinical settings

Jaqueline Rocha, Isabel Henriques, Margarita Gomila, Célia M. Manaia*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

The Klebsiella pneumoniae complex is comprised of ubiquitous bacteria that can be found in soils, plants or water, and as humans’ opportunistic pathogens. This study aimed at inferring common and distinctive features in clinical and environmental K. pneumoniae. Whole genome sequences of members of the K. pneumoniae complex (including K. variicola, n = 6; and K. quasipneumoniae, n = 7), of clinical (n = 78) and environmental (n = 61) origin from 21 countries were accessed from the GenBank. These genomes were compared based on phylogeny, pangenome and selected clinically relevant traits. Phylogenetic analysis based on 2704 genes of the core genome showed close relatedness between clinical and environmental strains, in agreement with the multi-locus sequence typing. Eight out of the 62 sequence types (STs) identified, included both clinical and environmental genomes (ST11, ST14, ST15, ST37, ST45, ST147, ST348, ST437). Pangenome-wide association studies did not evidence significant differences between clinical and environmental genomes. However, the genomes of clinical isolates presented significantly more exclusive genes related to antibiotic resistance/plasmids, while the environmental isolates yielded significantly higher allelic diversity of genes related with functions such as efflux or oxidative stress. The study suggests that K. pneumoniae can circulate among the natural environment and clinical settings, probably under distinct adaptation pressures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10441
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

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