Klebsiella, is a genus of non-motile, Gram-negative, oxidase-negative, rod-shaped bacteria with a prominent polysaccharide-based capsule. It is named after the German microbiologist Edwin Klebs (1834–1913). Frequent human pathogens, Klebsiella organisms can lead to a wide range of disease states, notably pneumonia, urinary tract infections, septicemia, and soft tissue infections. Klebsiella species have also been implicated in the pathogenesis of ankylosing spondylitis and other spondyloarthropathies.
Klebsiella species are ubiquitous in nature.
During the last 40 years, many trials for constructing effective K. pneumoniae vaccines have been tried. Currently, no Klebsiella vaccine has been licensed for use in the US. K. pneumoniae is the most common cause of nosocomial respiratory tract and premature intensive care infections, and the second most frequent cause of Gram-negative bacteraemia and urinary tract infections. Drug resistant isolates remain an important hospital-acquired bacterial pathogen, add significantly to hospital stays, and are especially problematic in high impact medical areas such as intensive care units.
The majority of human infections are caused by K. pneumoniae and K. oxytoca. These bacteria are a normal part of our digestive tracts and cause us no harm when confined to the gastrointestinal system. When Klebsiella bacteria wind up in the lungs or other tissues, however, serious infection can result. Children and people with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable.
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- Klebsiella article from eMedicine.com