Scientists have conducted an investigation into a fatal outbreak of pneumonia in the Hospital of Zhejiang University in China.
The causative agent of these five patients was found to be a carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae (CRKP) strain, a type of previously-defined superbug.
These CRKP strains are also hypervirulent and belong to ST11 type of CRKP, the most prevalent and transmissible CRKP strains in Asia.
As these strains simultaneously exhibit the features of hyper-resistance, hypervirulence and high transmissibility, they can be considered a real superbug known as ST11 CR-HvKP (ST11 carbapenem-resistant hypervirulent K. pneumoniae).
ST11 K. pneumoniae strains proliferate in the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) of human and animals and may cause opportunistic infections such as pneumonia in clinical settings.