The substantial increase of infections caused by multidrug-resistant pathogens belonging to Enterobacterales order represents a major concern, since they are frequently associated with high mortality rates, longer hospital stay and elevated costs. Despite of the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic is a viral infection, this event has strongly contributed to the antimicrobial's direct selective pressure over the microorganisms. Moreover, deadly co-infections caused by pan-resistant bacteria have been reported in COVID-19 patients worldwide. Klebsiella pneumoniae belongs to the Enterobacterales order, Enterobacteriaceae family, and has an exceptional ability to acquire mobile genetic elements comprising genes able to encode antimicrobial resistance and hypervirulence. Furthermore, this species is considered one of the six major pathogens associated with deaths linked to failure of antimicrobials treatment. This research project aims to analyze comparatively 60 Klebsiella pneumoniae strains isolated from different infection sites in humans, during the pre-pandemic period of 2018-2019 (n=30) and the pandemic period during the years of 2020-2022 (n=30). For this purpose, the search of resistance and virulence genes, phenotypic resistance analyses and molecular typing by ERIC-PCR and MLST will be carried out. Furthermore, hypermucoviscosity phenotype will be investigated using the string test. The results to be obtained should contribute significantly to a better understanding of the antimicrobial resistance and genotypic diversity from strains studied, as well as evaluate the impact of indiscriminate use of antimicrobials at the advent of COVID-19.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: