Library Dissertation Showcase

An investigation into the carriage of cloacin DF13 in Klebsiella spp

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2021

The Klebsiella species are members of the Enterobacteriae family, causing a range of hospital and community acquired infections, such as pneumonias and urinary tract infections. Antimicrobial resistance to a range of clinical infections, including those caused by the Klebsiella species is on the rise, driven by a group known as the ESKAPE pathogens, a rising public health risk. The direct patient consequence of antimicrobial resistance predicted by the O’Neill report in 2014 highlighted that by 2050, if no action is taken to tackle antimicrobial resistance, 10 million lives may be lost, surpassing the mortality rate of cancer. Bacteriocins are ribosomally synthesised antimicrobial peptides with narrow spectrum activity, owing to their promising future as the basis for a new class of antimicrobials. When induced, bacteriocinogenic bacterial strains are capable of effective cytotoxic activity against target bacteria, of which it is closely related to, while protecting itself via an immunity gene encoded protein. The aim of this project was to utilise BLAST, a bioinformatics program, to enhance the understanding of cloacin DF13 carriage in three clinically important Klebsiella species, namely Klebsiella pneumoniae, Klebsiella aerogenes and Klebsiella oxytoca. Results of this project have highlighted that cloacin DF13 carriage, although widely known to be carried by a multitude of bacterial species including K. pneumoniae, is not well carried in K. oxytoca and K. aerogenes. DNA analysis of this variation highlighted a DNA replication control region as significantly varied specifically just in K. oxytoca. Finally, it was revealed that the bacteriocin produced by plasmid cloacin DF13, cloacin, is carried very little among K. oxytoca strains and predictions such as diversifying selective can be made. Further research into bacteriocin carriage evolution and increased sequencing efforts are fundamental to the understanding and advancement in tackling antimicrobial resistance, particularly of the under-explored Klebsiella species, such as K. oxytoca.

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