Multidrug resistant and hypervirulent clones of Klebsiella pneumoniae are emerging pathogens. To understand the association between genotypic and phenotypic diversity in this process, we combined genomic, phylogenomic and phenotypic analysis of a diverse set of K. pneumoniae and closely related species. These species were able to use an unusually large panel of metabolic substrates for growth, many of which were shared between all strains. We analysed the substrates used by only a fraction of the strains, identified some of their genetic basis, and found that many could not be explained by the phylogeny of the strains. Puzzlingly, few traits were associated with the ecological origin of the strains. One noticeable exception was the ability to use D-arabinose, which was much more frequent in hypervirulent strains. The broad carbon and nitrogen core metabolism of K. pneumoniae might contribute to its ability to thrive in diverse environments. Accordingly, even the hypervirulent and multidrug resistant clones have the metabolic signature of ubiquitous bacteria. The apparent few metabolic differences between hypervirulent, multi-resistant and environmental strains may favour the emergence of dual-risk strains that combine resistance and hypervirulence.© 2017 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Journal: Environmental microbiology