Klebsiella pneumoniae (hereafter, K. pneumoniae) is a major cause of hospital-acquired infections such as urinary infections, pneumonia, bloodstream infections, infections in newborns and in intensive-care unit patients. Some hypervirulent strains also cause community infections in previously healthy persons.
Multidrug resistance, including resistance to the antimicrobial treatments of last resort (carbapenem antibiotics) for life-threatening infections caused by K. pneumoniae, has spread to all regions of the world. In some countries, because of resistance, carbapenem antibiotics would not work in more than half of people treated for K. pneumoniae infections.
K. pneumoniae is a common human gut colonizer and is considered ubiquitous, as it is found in a broad range of habitats including soil, water, plants, food and animals. However, the main reservoirs or sources of K. pneumoniae and the routes by which it is transmitted to humans are currently largely undefined.
MedVetKlebs is a multidisciplinary international project aiming to define the ecology of K. pneumoniae and the sources of infections of humans and animals. The ultimate goal is to contribute to define transmission routes and to find ways to control them.
MedVetKlebs objectives are:
1. To develop and harmonize pneumoniae detection and strain culture methods;
2. To organize a broad sampling of ecological niches and of potential sources;
3. To perform genomics analysis and transmission modeling, including development of new methods for source attribution and risk assessment.
In order to achieve these objectives, MedVetKlebs brings together 10 partners from different sectors (fundamental microbiology, medical, veterinary, food, environmental sectors, and bioinformatics) located in different European countries. Through this partnership, large geographical coverage of various sources of samples will be achieved. Through its ‘One-Health’ strategy, MedVetKlebs intends to contribute to improve public and animal health through a better control of K. pneumoniae infections.