Klebsiella Pneumoniae: Diagnosis, Treatment, Risk Factor

Klebsiella pneumoniae is an anaerobic bacterium present in rod form that resides within your intestines and faeces. When in the intestines these bacteria are harmless. But they can cause serious infections if they spread to other parts of your body. In case you are ill, you may suffer some adverse effects due to these bacteria. This bacteria can also be found in the mouth, skin and intestines, this can lead in particular to a bloody, brownish or yellow coloured jelly-like sputum and can lead to disruptive changes in human and animal pulmonary lungs if aspirated.

Klebsiella pneumoniae can be harmful, especially if you are already sick and if they enter other parts of your body. They can become ‘superbugs’ with common antibiotics that almost are impossible to battle. Infections are uncommon in healthy humans because they have a strong enough immune system to prevent germs and fight them. But if you experience health issues, infections are more likely, with the:

  • Regular consumption of alcohol
  • Cancer 
  • Diabetes
  • Liver diseases
  • Pulmonary disorder

Taking antibiotics or other such medications for a long time can also increase the risk of this infection.

77 types of capsules have been identified so far by researchers in this field to date.  Humans account for the majority of carriers for this bacteria, however, people with a strong immune system may not fall ill or experience any health issues on contacting the disease. People with compromised immune systems are at greater risk because of drugs or alcohol consumption or due to underlying medical conditions. In certain populations, certain diseases are more likely to occur. K. 

These germs cannot propagate through air.  One can only get infected if they come in direct contact with the bacteria, for example,  touching a cut on your skin with dirty hands. These germs may also be contacted via medical instruments, such as:

  • IV catheters, tubes to give medicines in a vein
  • Tubes and fans that help you breath- Endotracheal
  • Urinary catheters that extract the urine

Klebsiella pneumoniae urinary tract infection

The bacteria of Klebsiella are typically transmitted through direct human contact. Contamination in the atmosphere is less likely to spread such infections. Like other infections associated with health care, this infection can spread through the hands of health workers, the bacteria can spread in clinics or hospitals.

Where K. Pneumonia is present in your urinary tract, it can lead to an infection of the urinary tract (UTI). Your urinary system contains the urethra, bladder, ureters and renal tissue. The bacteria enter the urinary tract, causing Klebsiella UTI. It can also happen after a long time with a urinary catheter. The signs of UTIs are not always visible but  you may experience, certain underlying symptoms, such as:

  • Urge to pee too often
  • Burning and pain during urination
  • The colour of urine similar to blood or cloudy in appearance
  • Urine with a foul smell 
  • Tiny quantities of urine passing
  • Back pain or pelvic pain
  • Abdominal pain

If UTI is caused in the kidney, it may also be followed by other symptoms. Such as:

  • fever
  • chills
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • pain in the upper back and side

Treatment for Klebsiella pneumonia

Multiple antibiotics are immune to Klebsiella species. It is called propriety mediated by plasmids. Treatment depends on the method of the organ in question. In general, initial treatment is observational for patients with potential bacteremia

Physicians handle Klebsiella pneumoniae infections firstly with an antibiotic. If a hospital-related infection is present, clinicians use a class of antibiotics called carbapenems for susceptibility test. If a doctor suspects a bacterium’s growth he will order another test to determine how susceptible bacteria react to the specific antibiotics. Doctors can have trouble handling Klebsiella Infections, as they may prove to be fatal at times. 

Diagnosis of Klebsiella infection  by physicians can be done by analysing either a sample of contaminated tissue or:

  • Sputum
  • Urine 
  • Blood 

Health tests are often ordered by physicians, including:

  • Ultrasound 
  • X-rays
  • CT scan


When the doctor has confirmed the diagnosis, susceptibility tests may be performed to assess the most appropriate treatment for the infection by antibiotics.

Klebsiella Infection of pneumonia is infectious. The bacteria that do not spread out through the air and there must be human-to-human contact for the same to spread. In the clinics, Klebsiella A person-to-person contact will transmit pneumonia, usually through the medical staff. People may still encounter the bacteria through environmentally exposed means, but this happens less frequently. This type of bacteria can be contacted by an individual:

  • Breathing machines or ventilators
  • Catheters intravenous
  • Catheters of the urine
  • Open wounds

The risk of contracting pneumonia infections is minimal. However, it is important to take all health precautions. The best defence against Klebsiella remains personal hygiene. 

Risks associated with Klebsiella pneumoniae 

One may be exposed to Klebsiella pneumoniae if they have a weak immune system or other factors, which can expose them to various risks, including:

  • With the increase in age
  • Consuming antibiotics for a long time
  • Consumption of corticosteroids
  • If you fall sick and have to be hospitalized
  • This diseases are transmissible and can be transmitted through machines in hospitals
  • With the use of an intravenous or ureteral catheter
  • surgery
  • cuts or wounds
  • diabetes
  • if you are an alcoholic
  • pulmonary diseases
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • chronic liver disease
  • lung  disorder
  • kidney disorder
  • dialysis
  • organ transplantation
  • cancer
  • chemotherapy

Many of these conditions can suppress your immune system, especially when left untreated.

Klebsiella Pneumoniae spreads through contact between individuals. This will take place if you contact an infected human. Anybody unable to get the bacteria-infected can also pass it amongst people. Furthermore, bacteria can contaminate medical artefacts such as:

  • ventilators
  • Urea Catheters 
  • Intravenous Catheters 
  • Klebsiella Pneumoniae, however, is not transmitted through the air.

Klebsiella pneumoniae in urine is generally harmless. The bacteria reside in your gut and urine, but if spread through other areas of your body, they can be harmful. Clinks of your lung, bladder, brain, liver, eyes, blood and wounds may cause serious infections.  Certain strains are treatment-resistant, but your doctor will figure out which antibiotic works best. It may take several months for recovery, but early treatment can improve your prognosis.

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