Morphological, genomic and transcriptomic responses of Klebsiella pneumoniae to the last-line antibiotic colistin

Amy K. Cain*, Christine J. Boinett, Lars Barquist, Janina Dordel, Maria Fookes, Matthew Mayho, Matthew J. Ellington, David Goulding, Derek Pickard, Ryan R. Wick, Kathryn E. Holt, Julian Parkhill, Nicholas R. Thomson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Colistin remains one of the few antibiotics effective against multi-drug resistant (MDR) hospital pathogens, such as Klebsiella pneumoniae. Yet resistance to this last-line drug is rapidly increasing. Characterized mechanisms of colR in K. pneumoniae are largely due to chromosomal mutations in two-component regulators, although a plasmid-mediated colR mechanism has recently been uncovered. However, the effects of intrinsic colistin resistance are yet to be characterized on a whole-genome level. Here, we used a genomics-based approach to understand the mechanisms of adaptive colR acquisition in K. pneumoniae. In controlled directed-evolution experiments we observed two distinct paths to colistin resistance acquisition. Whole genome sequencing identified mutations in two colistin resistance genes: in the known colR regulator phoQ which became fixed in the population and resulted in a single amino acid change, and unstable minority variants in the recently described two-component sensor crrB. Through RNAseq and microscopy, we reveal the broad range of effects that colistin exposure has on the cell. This study is the first to use genomics to identify a population of minority variants with mutations in a colR gene in K. pneumoniae.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9868
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalScientific Reports
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

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