Bacterial Strains for Antibiotic Drug Discovery

Microscopic Bacteria ©istock

This technology consists of 12 K. pneumoniae strains that which have been genetically engineered to carry mutations affecting key cell functions known to be implicated in the development of drug resistance including antimicrobial efflux, virulence, transcription factor regulation and membrane stability. These are useful set of strains for use in antibiotic drug discovery and screening.

Features   Benefits
12 different mutants offering genetic alterations in key resistance mechanisms A different target to investigate and screen against.
Molecular targets share high homology with other Gram-negative bacteria. Useful as a model system for other Gram-negative bacteria.
Mutants possess genes with known antimicrobial defence functions. Ability to screen new antimicrobials to assess if they would be susceptible to known pathways of drug-resistance

The Challenge

K. pneumoniae is classed by WHO as posing a severe threat to human health and is responsible for a variety of common hospital acquired infections. Klebsiella pneumoniae is highly drug resistant and is rapidly becoming the cause of untreatable infections globally. Understanding the molecular tricks the bacteria uses to become resistant is likely to be key to identifying new effective antibiotics that avoid these resistance mechanisms.


A series of K. pneumoniae strains with key phenotypes associated with resistance, including enhanced efflux, virulence and outer-membrane stability, which can be used to characterise and profile the activity of new antibiotic candidates to identify those able to circumvent these resistance mechanisms.

Exemplification Data

Comprehensive genetic and phenotypic data on each of both wildtype and mutant strains and dose response data to selected antibiotics including fluroquinilones and tetracyclines. 


Useful as a model of various Gram-negative bacteria
Drug molecule screening and resistance mechanism profiling

Development Status

Early stage laboratory Data


De Majumdar S et al. Elucidation of the RamA Regulon in Klebsiella pneumoniae Reveals a Role in LPS Regulation. PLoS Pathogens 2015.
Veleba M et al. Characterization of RarA, a Novel AraC Family Multidrug Resistance Regulator in Klebsiella pneumoniae. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 2012.

Commercial Offering

The University of Edinburgh is seeking commercial partners to license this technology and/or collaborate on further development of the technology for commercial use.

Register your interest

If you or your company would like to find out more about this technology opportunity under Confidentiality Agreement with a view to a licence or collaborative research agreement, please complete and submit our technology enquiry form.

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