May 29, 2018
NOR-KLEB-NET: The Norwegian Klebsiella pneumoniae network - K. pneumoniae population structure, virulence, and antimicrobial resistance in a One Health perspective

Funded by the Norwegian Research Council

Klebsiella pneumoniae has emerged as a high-risk human pathogen due to its virulence and increasing levels of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and has by WHO been defined as one of the multidrug resistant (MDR) bacteria posing the greatest threat to human health. K. pneumoniae may cause severe and often deadly infections, such as bloodstream infections and pneumonia. K. pneumoniae may also colonise and infect plants and animals. However, there is limited knowledge about the dissemination and burden of disease in animal and environmental reservoirs, and transmission of MDR K. pneumoniae between niches.

NOR-KLEB-NET is a multidisciplinary national network focusing on AMR in K. pneumoniae in a “One Health” perspective (i.e. in humans, animals, food, and the environment) and the burden to human and animal health.The network consists of leading national scientists in the fields of human and veterinary medicine, human, veterinary and marine/environmental microbiology, food safety, genomic epidemiology and AMR-surveillance. The Norwegian Klebsiella pneumoniae study (NOR-KLEB), established in 2016, is so far our largest project. The main focus of NOR-KLEB is to study the burden of human disease caused by K. pneumoniae using large-scale whole genome sequencing to characterize the influence of AMR, virulence, and clonal traits on clinical outcome. The project includes a prospective multicenter bacteremia study (NORKAB) with 33 collaborating hospitals, including all university hospitals in Norway, as well as a human carriage study using a large cohort (n=5000) of the Tromsø population study (The Tromsø 7 study). The research activities within NOR-KLEB are limited to the human sector.

Through this network we aim to establish a cross-compartment collaboration between different sectors. NOR-KLEB-NET will focus on the evolution and spread of AMR in K. pneumoniae from a “One Health” perspective, encompassing this pathogen’s ability to colonize and possibly disseminate between humans, companion animals, livestock, food, and environment – and to cause clinical infections in humans and animals.

Members of the network may apply for funding to cover meeting costs or research stays: http://nor-kleb.net/blog_posts/grant_applications.php.