A Genomic Investigation of Carbapenem-Resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae in Victoria

Project Summary 

Carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae such as KPC-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae are among the top antibiotic-resistant threats worldwide. Outbreaks of these extensively drug-resistant organisms have been associated with considerable morbidity and up to 50% in-hospital mortality. Although carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae have been reported in Australia in the context of international travel, no major local outbreaks have previously been reported.

Following a substantial increase in the number of carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae isolates referred to the Microbiological Diagnostic Unit Public Health Laboratory (MDU PHL) in Victoria, a whole genome sequencing project was initiated in order to (a) determine the genetic relatedness of these isolates, (b) to ascertain whether ongoing transmission of local KPC-producing K. pneumoniae is occurring in Victoria and (c) to identify which if any transmission networks are involved in the spread of carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae isolates within Victoria.

Project Partner

Department of Health and Human Services

Project Team

Dr Jason Kwong

A/Prof Torsten Seemann

A/Prof Timothy Stinear

Prof Benjamin Howden

Research Program

Antimicrobial Resistance