Klebsiella Pneumoniae Symptoms and Treatment

How Klebsiella Pneumoniae infection looks in microscope Infection

Klebsiella is a ‘superbug’ that causes a series of diseases, depending on which part of the body it infects. Klebsiella pneumoniae is a bacterium that usually lives inside human intestines, where it does not cause disease.

Nevertheless, if K. pneumoniae enters into other areas of the body, it can cause a variety of various illnesses. These include: pneumonia, bloodstream infections, wound infections, surgical site infections, meningitis, urinary tract infections (UTI).

How Klebsiella Pneumoniae Spreads

K. pneumoniae infections are normally “nosocomial” infections, which indicates they’re contracted in a health center or health care setting. People who have actually weakened immune systems, or sick or injured people who are going through procedures for numerous health problems, are most likely to get a Klebsiella infection.

Healthy people usually do not have to stress over getting K. pneumoniae infections, inning accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The bacteria are not air-borne, so you cannot contract a K. pneumoniae infection by breathing the very same air as an infected person. Rather, K. pneumoniae is spread through direct person-to-person contact, such as when someone with contaminated hands touches a wound. Infections can likewise happen through using infected medical equipment. For example, people on ventilators can contract Klebsiella pneumonia if breathing tubes are infected with the bacteria.

Likewise, the use of infected intravenous catheters can lead to bloodstream infections. Taking antibiotics over a long course of time can also increase an individual’s risk of getting a Klebsiella infection.

Symptoms of K. Pneumoniae Infections

The symptoms of a K. pneumoniae infection differ depending on where the infection is located, and are similar to symptoms of the very same diseases triggered by other microorganisms. For example, meningitis from K. pneumoniae produces the trademark symptoms of bacterial meningitis, including fever, confusion, neck stiffness, and sensitivity to bright lights.

Bloodstream infections (bacteremia and sepsis) from Klebsiella cause fever, chills, rash, light-headedness, and transformed mindsets. Pneumonia from K. pneumoniae can result in:

  • Fevers and chills.
  • Flu-like symptoms.
  • Cough, which might produce mucus that’s yellow, green, or bloody.
  • Breathing problems.

Treatment of Klebsiella Infections

Medical professionals generally use antibiotics to treat K. pneumoniae infections. However, the increase of antibiotic-resistant stress of the bacteria has complicated matters. Some “superbug” stress of K. pneumoniae are resistant to many antibiotics, including carbapenems, which are considered last-resort drugs. These bacteria produce enzymes called Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemases (KPC), which render the antibiotics inefficient. These durable, high-threat-level microorganisms are part of a group called carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE.

Carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella is the most common kind of CRE, and is accountable for about 7,900 infections and 520 deaths each year, inning accordance with the CDC.

To treat CRE, medical professionals rely on a number of effective antibiotics that still have some effectiveness versus the bacteria, particularly when used in combination, according to a January 2013 report in the journal Diagnostic Microbiology & Infectious Disease. These drugs consist of:

  • Aminoglycosides.
  • Polymyxins.
  • Tigecycline.
  • Fosfomycin.
  • Temocillin.

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