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Schenectady County Community College

Klebsiella pneumoniae


Gram stain:  negative
Cell shape:  bacillus
Arrangement:  single, pairs or short chains
Oxygen requirements:  
Motility:  non-motile
Other:  this organism is a capsule former.

Habitat:  intestinal tract of humans and animals (but in low numbers compared to E. coli); also found in soil, water, grain, etc.

Pathogenicity:  major cause of septicemia in pediatric hospital wards; also causes one form of pneumonia which is contracted especially by people with compromised immune systems, including those suffering from chronic alcoholism.

Chills, fever, cough, chest pain and bloody mucoid sputum. High mortality rate and patients die sooner than other pneumonia patients. Most fatal nocosomial infections are pneumonias caused by enterobacteria and other gram negative rods.

Causes death of tissue and rapid formation of lung abscesses leaving lung permanently damaged even after successful treatment.

Also responsible for infections of the urinary tract.

Transmission:  fecal-oral route; organism first colonizes the mouth and throat, then are carried to lung via inspired air or aspirated mucous; may also be transmitted via hands of hospital personnel.

Treatment:  aminoglycosides (disrupt function of 70s ribosomes) - amikacin, gentamicin; cephalosporins (inhibit cell wall synthesis). All strains are resistant to ampicillin.



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Ask NOAH About: Pneumonia
Klebsiella Pneumonia
Klebsiella spp.