Klebsiella pneumoniae is a zoonotic, Gram-negative member of the family Enterobacteriaceae and is the causative agent of nosocomial septicemic, pneumonic, and urinary tract infections. Recently, pathogenic strains of K. pneumoniae sharing a hypermucoviscosity (HMV) phenotype have been attributed to multisystemic abscessation in both human and nonhuman primates. Although K. pneumoniae is a well-recognized zoonotic agent, there is a lack of general information including adequate diagnostic methods or treatments for nonhuman primates. In an effort to increase the body of knowledge of this enigmatic pathogen, K. pneumoniae isolates from African green monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops sabaeus) on the island of St. Kitts, West Indies were genotypically and phenotypically characterized. Genetic fingerprints generated by PCR-mediated genomic fingerprinting, phenotypic characterization, and antimicrobial susceptibility all identified a high degree of similarity between the HMV and non-HMV K. pneumoniae isolates. The results obtained from this work will help establish a baseline for the development of efficacious diagnostic methods and treatment strategies for both human and nonhuman primates.
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Vol. 48 • No. 3