Respiratory isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae in Korea during 2002-2003 were studied to determine the prevalence and types of extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs) and plasmid-mediated AmpC β-lactamases (PABLs). ESBL-production was tested by double-disk synergy, and genotypes of β-lactamases were determined by PCR and sequencing. ESBLs were detected in 28.4% of 373 isolates, and the most prevalent types were SHV-12 (63 isolates) and CTX-M-14 (9 isolates). Forty of 75 ESBL-producers (53.5%) also had PABLs: 21 isolates with CMY-2-like, 17 with DHA-1-like. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis showed 19 types and 25 of 74 isolates had an identical pattern, indicating nosocomial spread. Dissemination of ESBL- and PABL-producing K. pneumoniae strains in Korea is a particular concern, as it limits the choice of antimicrobial agents for treatment of infections.
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