The Klebsiella bacteria, dangerous with less resistance

Health drewsen August 8, 2016 1 3
The Klebsiella pneumoniae is a rod-shaped bacterium that occurs frequently in the mouth, intestines and on the skin of humans and animals. The bacteria can cause nasty infections, especially in people with reduced resistance.

In the news

The bacterium has this year been in the news in connection with the outbreak in the intensive care unit of the Hospital Rotterdam in Rotterdam. This relates to the Oxa48-producing Klebsiella, a more resistant variant of the Klebsiella.

The Klebsiella bacteria

The Klebsiella bacteria are named after the German microbiologist Edwin Klebs, a German-Swiss microbiologist, which is particularly known for his work on infectious diseases. The Klebsiella is a bacterium that occurs on the skin, in the mouth and intestines. In nature it occurs in plants, in the soil and surface water. In healthy people, the Klebsiella will not damage. However, the Klebsiella Oxa-48 is for people with reduced resistance very dangerous, as the Oxa-48 enzyme the bacteria is resistant to almost all antibiotics, including the most powerful class of antibiotics, the carbapenems. As a result, to treat the symptoms do not or hardly.

What people are susceptible to the Klebsiella bacterium?

The Klebsiella bacterium is increasingly seen by secondary infections in patients with reduced immunity, especially after prior use of antibiotics. For example, people with chronic lung disease, diabetes, with open wounds, wound infections, blood infections are more susceptible to these bacteria. An infection can be promoted by a stay in hospital, the general condition of a patient to determine the severity of an infection.
The bacterium is transmitted almost exclusively by direct contact from person to person. People who contract an infection caused by Klebsiella are often infected through direct physical contact with an infected patient or nurse, or by unhygienic toilet.


Patients with Klebsiella pneumoniae have complaints which largely correspond to a conventional pneumonia, such as:
  • fever
  • chills
  • flu-like symptoms
  • coughing up lots of thick mucus
  • breathing problems
In an ordinary pneumonia is usually good recovery without complications, with Klebsiella pneumoniae, the consequences are more serious. It can also cause pus around the lungs and thereby abscesses and scarring.
In severe cases, a patient may it die. In Maasstad Hospital were a total of 28 infected patients, three patients in the Klebsiella bacteria is most likely to have been the direct cause of death.