MedVetKlebs: Klebsiella pneumoniae: from ecology to source attribution and transmission control.

Start: 1 January 2018
Duration: 2 Years
Domain: Foodborne Zoonoses
Keywords: K. pneumoniae; Harmonization of detection and isolation, environmental niches, population biology, transmission modelling.
Contact: Sylvain Brisse (IP)


MedVetKlebs is a multidisciplinary international project that aims to define the ecology of Klebsiella pneumoniae (Kp) and the sources of infections of humans and animals in order to investigate transmission routes and to find an optimal way to control them.

Klebsiella pneumoniae (Kp) is a major cause of hospital-acquired infections such as pneumonia, bloodstream infections, infections in newborns and intensive-care unit patients. In 2014, WHO’s global report on AMR revealed that the resistance to the treatment of last resort (carbapenem antibiotics) for life-threatening infections caused by a common intestinal bacteria, Klebsiella pneumoniae (Kp), has spread to all regions of the world. In the western world, kp represents nearly 10% of nosocomial infections and is one of the most problematic multidrug resistant (MDR) organisms, with increasing resistance to carbapenem and other ‘last resort’ antimicrobial agents (colistin, tigecycline). The European Parliament report on Antimicrobial Resistance (IP/A/STOA/SC/2005-173) stated: “The increasing development of such pan-resistant organisms has the potential to become a worldwide catastrophe.”

In this context, MedVetKlebs aims to improve of public and animal health through a better control of Kp infections by:

  1. Developing and harmonizing detection and isolation methods;
  2. Ensuring a broad sampling of ecological niches and deep sampling of potential sources;
  3. Performing genomics analysis and transmission modeling, including development of new methods for source attribution and risk assessment.

To achieve the above objectives, MedVetKlebs brings together partners from different sectors (fundamental microbiology, medical, veterinary, food, environmental sectors, and bioinformatics) located in different European countries in order to ensure sufficient geographical coverage of sampling.

Furthermore, MedVetKlebs will develop an efficient scheme of dissemination and implementation of obtained results to all concerned parties and to general public.


Chiarelli, A., Cabanel, N., Rosinski-Chupin, I., Zongo PD., Naas. T., Bonnin, RA., Glaser, P. (2020). Diversity of mucoid to non-mucoid switch among carbapenemase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae. BMC Microbiology, 20, 325. DOI:

Barbier, E., Rodrigues, C., Depret, G., Passet, V., Gal, L., Piveteau, P., Brisse, S. (2020). The ZKIR Assay, a Real-Time PCR Method for the Detection of Klebsiella pneumoniae and Closely Related Species in Environmental Samples. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 86(7), pp. e02711-19. DOI:

Huynh, BT., Passet, V., Rakotondrasoa, A.,. Diallo, T., Kerleguer, A., Hennart, M., Lauzanne, A., Herindrainy, P., Seck, A., Bercion, R., Borand, L., Pardos de la Gandara, M., Delarocque-Astagneau, E., Guillemot, D., Vray, M., Garin, B., Collard, JM., Rodrigues, C., Brisse, S. (2020). Klebsiella pneumoniae carriage in low-income countries: antimicrobial resistance, genomic diversity and risk factors. Gut Microbes, 11(5), pp. 1287-1299. DOI:

Loncaric, I., Rosel, AC., Szostak, MP., Licka, TF., Allerberger, F., Ruppitsch, W., Spergser, J. Broad-Spectrum Cephalosporin-Resistant Klebsiella spp. Isolated from Diseased Horses in Austria (2020). Animals, 10(2), pp. 332. DOI:

Rebollada-Merino A., Bárcena C., Ugarte-Ruiz M., Porras-González N., Mayoral-Alegre F., Tome-Sánchez I., Domínguez L. and Rodríguez-Bertos A. (2020). Effects on Intestinal Mucosal Morphology, Productive Parameters and Microbiota Composition after Supplementation with Fermented Defatted Alperujo (FDA) in Laying Hens. Antibiotics, 8(4), pp. 215DOI:

Lepuschitz, S., Schill, S., Stoeger, A., Pekard-Amenitsch, S., Huhulescu, S., Inreiter, N., Hartl, R., Kerschner, H., Sorschag, S., Springer, B., Brisse, S., Allerberger, F., Mach, RL., Ruppitsch, W. (2019). Whole genome sequencing reveals resemblance between ESBL-producing and carbapenem resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates from Austrian rivers and clinical isolates from hospitals. Science of the Total Environment, 662, pp.  227-235. DOI:

Merla C, Rodrigues C, Passet V, Corbella M, Thorpe H A, Kallonen T V S, Zong Z, Marone P, Bandi C, Sassera D, Corander J, Feil E J and Brisse S. (2019). Description of Klebsiella spallanzanii sp. nov. and of Klebsiella pasteurii sp. nov. Frontiers in Microbiology. DOI

Oren and Garrity. List of new names and new combinations previously effectively, but not validly, published. (2019) International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology ;69:2627–2629 DOI 10.1099/ijsem.0.003624

Wisgrill L, Lepuschitz S, Blaschitz M, Rittenschober-Böhm J, Diab-El Schahawi M, Schubert S, et al. Outbreak of Yersinia bactin-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. (2019). The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, 38:638–42.

Rodrigues C, Passet V, Rakotondrasoa A, Diallo TA, Criscuolo A, Brisse S. (2019) Description of Klebsiella africanensis sp. nov., Klebsiella variicola subsp. tropicalensis subsp. nov. and Klebsiella variicola subsp. variicola subsp. nov. Research in Microbiology.

Rodrigues C, Passet V, Rakotondrasoa A, Brisse S (2018). Identification of Klebsiella pneumoniae, Klebsiella quasipneumoniae, Klebsiella variicola and related phylogroups by MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometry. Front. Microbiol. 9:3000. DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.03000

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