Differential Th17 response induced by the two clades of the pandemic ST258 Klebsiella pneumoniae clonal lineages producing KPC-type carbapenemase
The spread of KPC-type carbapenemases is mainly attributed to the global dissemination of Klebsiella pneumoniae (KP) strains belonging to the clonal group (CG) 258, including sequence type (ST) 258 and other related STs. Two distinct clades of CG258-KP have evolved, which differ mainly for the composition of their capsular polysaccharides, and recent studies indicate that clade 1 evolved from an ancestor of clade 2 by recombination of a genomic fragment carrying the capsular polysaccharide (cps) locus. In this paper, we investigated the ability of two ST258-KP strains, KKBO-1 and KK207-1, selected as representatives of ST258-KP clade 2 and clade 1, respectively, to activate an adaptive immune response using ex vivo-stimulation of PBMC from normal donors as an experimental model. Our data showed that KKBO-1 (clade 2) induces a Th17 response more efficiently than KK207-1 (clade 1): the percentage of CD4+IL17+ cells and the production of IL-17A were significantly higher in cultures with KKBO-1 compared to cultures with KK207-1. While no differences in the rate of bacterial internalization or in the bacteria-induced expression of CD86 and HLA-DR by monocytes and myeloid dendritic cells were revealed, we found that the two strains significantly differ in inducing the production of cytokines involved in the adaptive immune response, as IL-1β, IL-23 and TNF-α, by antigen-presenting cells, with KKBO-1 being a more efficient inducer than KK207-1. The immune responses elicited by KK207-1 were comparable to those elicited by CIP 52.145, a highly virulent K. pneumoniae reference strain known to escape immune-inflammatory responses. Altogether, present results suggest that CG258-KP of the two clades are capable of inducing a different response of adaptive immunity in the human host.