Porin loss in Klebsiella pneumoniae clinical isolates impacts production of virulence factors and survival within macrophages
Clinical isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae are often resistant to beta-lactam antibiotics via the acquisition of extended spectrum beta lactamase (ESBL) enzymes paired with loss of one or both major outer membrane porins. It has been well established that loss of OmpK35 and/or OmpK36 correlates with increased minimum inhibitory concentrations of antibiotics that target the peptidoglycan. However, little is known concerning the downstream effects porin loss might have on other major virulence factors such as the polysaccharide capsule or LPS. Furthermore, it is unknown whether these cumulative changes impact pathogenesis. Therefore, the focus of this study was to identify alterations in production of the major virulence factors due to porin loss; and to investigate the effect these changes have on host pathogen interactions. Our data demonstrates that loss of a single porin is paired with reductions in capsule, increased LPS content, and up-regulated transcription of compensatory porin genes. In contrast, loss of both porins resulted in a significant increase in capsule production. Loss of OmpK35 alone or dual porin loss was further associated with reduced oxidative burst by macrophages and increased ability of the bacteria to survive phagocytic killing. These data indicate that porin loss is accompanied by a suite of changes in other virulence-associated factors. These cumulative changes act to nullify any negative fitness effect due to lack of the nonspecific porin proteins, allowing the bacteria to grow and survive phagocytic immune responses.
International Journal of Medical Microbiology
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Brunson, D. N., Maldosevic, E., Velez, A., Figgins, E., Ellis, T.N. (2019) Porin Loss in Klebsiella Pneumoniae Clinical Isolates Impacts Production of Virulence Factors and Survival within Macrophages. International Journal of Medical Microbiology, 309 (3-4), 213-224.