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Klebsiella pneumoniae is an opportunistic bacterial pathogen known for its high frequency and diversity of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) genes. In addition to being a significant clinical problem in its own right, K. pneumoniae is the species within which several new AMR genes were first discovered before spreading to other pathogens (e.g. carbapenem-resistance genes KPC, OXA-48 and NDM-1). Whilst K. pneumoniae’s contribution to the overall AMR crisis is impossible to quantify, current evidence suggests it has a wider ecological distribution, significantly more varied DNA composition, greater AMR gene diversity and a higher plasmid burden than other Gram negative opportunists. Hence we propose it plays a key role in disseminating AMR genes from environmental microbes to clinically important pathogens.
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