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Introduction: Rhinoscleroma is caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae rhinoscleromatis and the ozena infections caused by K. pneumoniae ozaenae, both infections affect the upper respiratory tract. In the first clinical phases the symptoms are unspecific, and the disease can be misdiagnosed as a common cold, therefore antimicrobial therapy cannot reach effective results and patients must be following up for several years since the infection became chronic.
Objective: To identify Klebsiella subspecies using a specific assay based on amplicons restriction of a gene which encodes 16S subunit ribosomal (rDNA16S).
Methodology: Specific restriction patterns were generated; using reported sequences from rDNA16S gene and bioinformatics programs MACAW, PFE, GENEDOC and GENE RUNNER. Amplification and restriction assays were standardized.
Results: Predictions in silico allowed to propose an algorithm for Klebsiella species and subspecies identification. Two reference strains were included and two clinical isolates which were biotyped and identified by the proposed method. rDNA16S gene restriction patterns showed differences regarding the initially identified species for conventional methods. Additionally two patterns of bands were observed for K. pneumoniae rhinoscleromatis, indicating the polymorphisms presence in the rDNA16S gene.
Conclusions: It was confirmed the difficulty to identify K. pneumoniae subspecies by conventional methods. Implementation of this technique could allow an accurate and rapid differentiation among K. pneumoniae ozaenae and K. pneumoniae rhinoscleromatis aetiological agents of two frequently misdiagnosed infections. Antimicrobial therapy usually could be ineffective, especially in chronic patients. Finally it is considered very important to enlarge the study by using more clinical and reference strains.

Nelson Enrique Arenas, Universidad del Quindío

Grupo de Investigación en Ciencias Biomédicas, Centro de Investigaciones Biomédicas. Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad del Quindío, Armenia, Colombia.

Juan Carlos Polanco, Universidad de Queensland

División de Genética Molecular y Biología del Desarrollo, Instituto de Biociencias Moleculares, Universidad de Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

Sandra Milena Coronado, Universidad del Quindío

Grupo de Investigación en Ciencias Biomédicas, Centro de Investigaciones Biomédicas. Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad del Quindío, Armenia, Colombia.

Clara Juliana Durango, Universidad del Quindío

Grupo de Investigación en Ciencias Biomédicas, Centro de Investigaciones Biomédicas. Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad del Quindío, Armenia, Colombia.

Arley Gómez, Universidad del Quindío

Grupo de Investigación en Ciencias Biomédicas, Centro de Investigaciones Biomédicas. Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad del Quindío, Armenia, Colombia.

Director, Unidad de Medicina Tropical y Enfermedades Infecciosas, Universidad del Rosario, Bogotá, DC, Colombia.

Arenas, N. E., Polanco, J. C., Coronado, S. M., Durango, C. J., & Gómez, A. (2009). Design of a molecular method for subspecies specific identification of Klebsiella pneumoniae by using the 16S ribosomal subunit gene. Colombia Medica, 40(2), 194–201. https://doi.org/10.25100/cm.v40i2.642

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