Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
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Year : 1997  |  Volume : 43  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 98-101  

Klebocin typing of Klebsiella species isolated from nosocomial infection in intensive care unit.

RB Pal, JS Rebello, DD Banker, PK Jain 
 Sir Hurkisondas Nurrotumdas Medical Research Society, Mumbai.

Correspondence Address:
R B Pal
Sir Hurkisondas Nurrotumdas Medical Research Society, Mumbai.


Klebocin typing and antibiotic resistance have been studied for 518 strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae, [106 from intensive care unit (ICU) sites, 182 from ICU staff flora, 192 from patient flora and 38 from clinical specimens]. The overall typability was 71.62%. The most common mnemonic types among various sources were 111, 211, and 112. Of the total strains tested, 28.37% strains were found to be untypable. These strains are labelled as DQ444DQ. When klebocin typing was used in association with antibiogram, in 86.84% cases of clinical infection probable source of infection could be detected. Thus a combination of two typing methods poses a significant contribution in epidemiological studies.

How to cite this article:
Pal R B, Rebello J S, Banker D D, Jain P K. Klebocin typing of Klebsiella species isolated from nosocomial infection in intensive care unit. J Postgrad Med 1997;43:98-101

How to cite this URL:
Pal R B, Rebello J S, Banker D D, Jain P K. Klebocin typing of Klebsiella species isolated from nosocomial infection in intensive care unit. J Postgrad Med [serial online] 1997 [cited 2023 Sep 24 ];43:98-101
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  ::   IntroductionTop

Klebsiellae are an important cause of nosocomial infections, particularly in intensive care units[1],[2]. With this regard, the accurate identification of organisms is of cardinal importance in defining nosocomial spread among patients. For epidemiological purpose, phage typing, bacteriocin (klebocin) typing, serotyping and antibiogram are important tools. Some workers have reported that klebocin typing in combination with other methods such as biotyping and serotyping, is a precise epidemiological marker for Klebsiella infection[3],[4]. The present study was designed to evaluate efficiency of klebocin typing in combination with antibiogram as a tool for detection of source of infection.

  ::   Material and methodTop

The present study was carried out from September 1990 to October 1992 in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Sir H.N. Hospital, Mumbai. Skin, nasal and throat swabs from patients were immediately collected after admission to ICU to determine their flora. Appropriate clinical samples were also collected after the onset of infection. Swabs from the patients environment (i.e. ICU sites such as wall, floor, trolley, suction tubing, bed, and curtains) as well as from the staff members (i.e. skin, nasal and throat swabs) were collected monthly to study the flora acquired. All Klebsiella isolates were subjected to klebocin typing by spot-inoculation method as described by Chugh et al (1980)[5], with some modifications using six producer strains 153, 154, 155, 156, US-5 and US-6. The methodology used was as follows:

To each broth culture (about 0.7 ml) of producer strains, 3.3 ml trypticase soy broth (TSB) and 1 ml of mitomycin C (0.5 mcg/ml) was added and incubated at 37C for 5 hours with intermittent shaking. The cells were killed by addition of 0.25 ml chloroform. The suspension was centrifuged at 3000 rpm for 10 mins in cold centrifuge. Supernatant containing respective klebocins was aliquoted in screw cap vials and stored at - 20C. Test culture was swabbed over a nutrient agar plate and 12 l of each klebocin was spot inoculated on marked sectors with a micropipette instead of 23 gauge tuberculin syringe (as described in original method). A positive control plate streaked with strain WC-50 was also put up with every set of experiment. The negative and positive reactions to 6 klebocins were recorded using a mnemonic system proposed by Farmer (1976)[6]. Antibiotic sensitivity of the strains was determined by Kirby-Bauer disc diffusion method[7]. The untypable strains i.e. those not inhibiting the growth of any of the indicator strains, were designated as 444.

  ::   ResultsTop

Klebocin typing was performed on a total of 518 strains obtained from various sources. Twenty-eight klebocin types were observed [Table:I]. The overall typability of the strains was 71.62%. The untypable strains accounted for the remaining 28.37% of the total. The isolates obtained from ICU staff members showed highest typability i.e. 75.82% among the various sources. The most common mnemonic types found among ICU sites and ICU staff isolates were 111 & 211. Types 111, 211 and 312 were commonly observed among ICU patients flora. Among the clinical isolates the common mnemonic types were 111 and 112. Klebocin typing and antibiogram of clinical isolates was compared with those from other sources, isolated during the period of infection. In 23 (60.52%) cases, the mnemonic types as well as antibiogram of Klebsiella isolates from clinical specimens matched with those of ICU sites and/or staff. In 10 (26.31%) cases, the mnemonic types and antibiogram matched with those from the endogenous flora of the patients [Table:II].

  ::   DiscussionTop

Epidemiological investigation of nosocomial infections is greatly facilitated by the use of a precise typing system for the organism involved. Our experience about the nosocomial infections in ICU suggests a high prevalence of Klebsiella infections accounting for 26.66% of total cases. Respiratory tract infections were most common followed by UTI, wound, septicaemia, miscellaneous sites and multiple site infections. Evaluation of klebocin typing in conjunction with antibiogram was done in present study for epidemiological investigation. Using the spot-inoculation method, we observed 71.62% typability, whereas Telang et al (1983)[8], Chugh et al (1980)[5] and Shanmugam et al (1983)[9] reported 92%, 80.3% and 93.83% typability respectively. Bauernfeind et al (1981)[4], Hall (1971)[10] and Chugh et al (1980)[5] have reported 83.3%, 77% and 52% typability respectively using streak-and-point method for klebocin typing. In view of the high induction of klebocins by mitomycin C, storage stability at - 20C and simplicity of the high degree of technique, spot inoculation method is more appropriate typing method.

We observed that klebocin types 111 (50%), 211 (5.59%), 312 (3.08%) and 112 (2.31%) were the most common types in our study. According to Chugh et al (1980)[5] type 444 is considered as untypable and these strains accounted for 28.37% of total strains studied. Chugh et al (1980)[5] reported types 313, 113, 111 and 311 as the commonest klebocin types, whereas Shanmugam et al (1983)[9] found types 113, 114 and 314 as the most prevalent ones in their study. Probably there is variation in the prevalence of various klebocin types in different topographical areas and institutions. In a study on klebocin typing by Chakravarty et al (1986)[11], no correlation between antibiogram and klebocin types was observed. We found that by combination of klebocin types and antibiogram of clinical isolates, the source of infection could be traced in 86.84% cases. The sources of infection were ICU sites and/or staff in 60.52% cases, 26.31% cases as endogenous flora and rest were unknown. Hence, combination of klebocin typing and antibiogram methods suggests an important tool for epidemiological studies.

  ::   AcknowledgmentTop

We wish to thank Dr.Uma Sabherwal, Professor of Microbiology, Rohtak Medical College for providing the klebocin producer strains and valuable guidance.


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