Fighting multi-drug resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae by using lytic phages

Dr Marco Maria D’Andrea currently has a research fellow position at the Department of Medical Biotechnologies, University of Siena. His research interests are mainly focused on the study of antibiotic resistance mechanisms in bacteria of clinical origin and on the characterization of lytic phages active against nosocomial pathogens.

During Florence Congress, Dr D’Andrea will discuss how to fight multi-drug resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae by using lytic phages. Isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae producing the KPC-type beta-lactamases (KPC-KP) are major nosocomial pathogens that very often exhibit an extensive and complex multidrug resistance profile, with very few available therapeutic options, if any. KPC-KP have spread rapidly at a worldwide level and became endemic in several countries, where they are now a major cause of healthcare-associated infections linked to high morbidity and mortality rates. The pandemic diffusion of KPC-KP was largely contributed by the expansion of few clonal lineages, with a predominance in several countries of isolates belonging to Sequence Type 258 clade II and variants thereof. Dr D’Andrea has isolated and characterized novel lytic bacteriophages able to specifically lyse KPC-KP strains and that show promising efficacy in protecting larvae of Galleria mellonella from death.