Vol 47, No 4 (2009)
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Published online: 2010-05-01

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The KPC type beta-lactamases: new enzymes that confer resistance to carbapenems in Gram-negative bacilli.

Paweł Sacha, Alina Ostas, Jadwiga Jaworowska, Piotr Wieczorek, Dominika Ojdana, Jerzy Ratajczak, Elzbieta Tryniszewska
DOI: 10.2478/v10042-009-0079-y
Folia Histochem Cytobiol 2009;47(4):537-543.


Antimicrobial resistance due to the continuous selective pressure from widespread use of antimicrobials in humans, animals and agriculture has been a growing problem for last decades. KPC beta-lactamases hydrolyzed beta-lactams of all classes. Especially, carbapenem antibiotics are hydrolyzed more efficiency than other beta-lactam antibiotics. The KPC enzymes are found most often in Enterobacteriaceae. Recently, these enzymes have been found in isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter spp. The observations of blaKPC genes isolated from different species in other countries indicate that these genes from common but unknown ancestor may have been mobilized in these areas or that blaKPC-carrying bacteria may have been passively by many vectors. The emergence of carbapenem resistance in Gram-negative bacteria is worrisome because the carbapenem resistance often may be associated with resistance to many beta-lactam and non-beta-lactam antibiotics. Treatment of infections caused by KPC-producing bacteria is extremely difficult because of their multidrug resistance, which results in high mortality rates. Therapeutic options to treat infections caused by multiresistant Gram-negative bacteria producing KPC-carbapenemases could be used polymyxin B or tigecycline.

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