Impact Factor 3.518 | CiteScore 3.62
More on impact ›

Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Cell. Infect. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2019.00367

Targeting the sugary armor of Klebsiella species

  • 1Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, India

The emergence of multidrug-resistant strains of Gram-negative Klebsiella species is an urgent global threat. The World Health Organization has listed Klebsiella pneumoniae as one of the global priority pathogens in critical need of next-generation antibiotics. Compared to other Gram-negative pathogens, K. pneumoniae accumulates a greater diversity of antimicrobial-resistant genes at a higher frequency. The evolution of a hypervirulent phenotype of K. pneumoniae is yet another concern. It has a broad ecological distribution affecting humans, agricultural animals, plants, and aquatic animals. Extracellular polysaccharides of Klebsiella, such as lipopolysaccharides, capsular polysaccharides, and exopolysaccharides, play crucial roles in conferring resistance against the host immune response, as well as in colonization, surface adhesion, and for protection against antibiotics and bacteriophages. These extracellular polysaccharides are major virulent determinants and are highly divergent with respect to their antigenic properties. Wzx/Wzy-, ABC- and synthase-dependent proteinaceous nano-machineries are involved in the biosynthesis, transport, and cell surface expression of these sugar molecules. Although the proteins involved in the biosynthesis and surface expression of these sugar molecules represent potential drug targets, variation in the amino acid sequences of some of these proteins, in combination with diversity in their sugar composition, poses a major challenge to the design of a universal drug for Klebsiella infections. This review discusses the challenges in universal Klebsiella vaccine and drug development from the perspective of antigen sugar compositions and the proteins involved in extracellular antigen transport.

Keywords: Klebsiella species, multi-drug resistance, lipopolysaccharide, capsular polysaccharide, Exopolysaccharide, complement system, Vaccine, antibiotics

Received: 07 Apr 2019; Accepted: 09 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Patro and Rathinavelan. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Thenmalarchelvi Rathinavelan, Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, Sangāreddi, 502285, Telangana, India, tr@iith.ac.in