COVID-19 represents an unprecedented health, social and economic challenge in Australia and around the world. Support Burnet’s COVID-19 emergency response today.
The aim of this study was to determine the diversity of Klebsiella pneumoniae capsular serotypes in an Australian setting. Consecutive (n = 293) nonrepetitive isolates of K. pneumoniae from a large teaching hospital laboratory were analyzed. The majority of isolates were from urinary specimens (60.8%); the next most common source was sputum (14.3%), followed by blood (14%). Serotyping revealed a wide range of capsule types. K54 (17.1%), K28 (4.1%), and K17 (3.1%) were the most common, and K54 isolates displayed a high degree of clonality, suggesting a common, nosocomial source. In vitro, one K54 isolate was more adherent to urinary catheters and HEp-2 cells than four other tested isolates; it was slightly more resistant to chlorhexidine but was more susceptible to drying than heavily encapsulated strains. This is the first seroprevalence survey of K. pneumoniae to be performed on Australian isolates, and the high level of diversity of serotypes suggests that capsule-based immunoprophylaxis might not be useful for Australia. In addition there are significant differences in the predominance of specific serotypes compared to the results of surveys performed overseas, which has important implications for capsule-based immunoprophylaxis aimed at a global market.