Epidemiology and Virulence of Klebsiella pneumoniae.

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Strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae are frequently opportunistic pathogens implicated in urinary tract and catheter-associated urinary-tract infections of hospitalized patients and compromised individuals. Infections are particularly difficult to treat since most clinical isolates exhibit resistance to several antibiotics leading to treatment failure and the possibility of systemic dissemination. Infections of medical devices such as urinary catheters is a major site of K. pneumoniae infections and has been suggested to involve the formation of biofilms on these surfaces. Over the last decade there has been an increase in research activity designed to investigate the pathogenesis of K. pneumoniae in the urinary tract. These investigations have begun to define the bacterial factors that contribute to growth and biofilm formation. Several virulence factors have been demonstrated to mediate K. pneumoniae infectivity and include, but are most likely not limited to, adherence factors, capsule production, lipopolysaccharide presence, and siderophore activity. The development of both in vitro and in vivo models of infection will lead to further elucidation of the molecular pathogenesis of K. pneumoniae. As for most opportunistic infections, the role of host factors as well as bacterial traits are crucial in determining the outcome of infections. In addition, multidrug-resistant strains of these bacteria have become a serious problem in the treatment of Klebsiella infections and novel strategies to prevent and inhibit bacterial growth need to be developed. Overall, the frequency, significance, and morbidity associated with K. pneumoniae urinary tract infections have increased over many years. The emergence of these bacteria as sources of antibiotic resistance and pathogens of the urinary tract present a challenging problem for the clinician in terms of management and treatment of individuals.








Medicine and Health Sciences




Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

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