Klebsiella Pneumoniae: An In-Depth Guide

Klebsiella pneumoniae are bacteria found in the intestines and feces. Gram-negative, encapsulated, and non-mobile bacteria are the terms used by experts to describe them.

Klebsiella Pneumoniae: An In-Depth Guide

They are also prone to developing antibiotic resistance.

Klebsiella Pneumoniae Infection

When Klebsiella pneumoniae bacteria are present in your intestines or stool, they are not harmful. However, if they spread to other parts of your body, like the lungs, they can cause serious infections such as:

Pneumonia

Klebsiella pneumoniae frequently causes bacterial pneumonia or lung infection. This is when bacteria enter your respiratory tract.

Community-acquired pneumonia happens when it is spread to you it in a public place, such as a mall or subway. If you get pneumonia in a hospital or nursing home, you have hospital-acquired pneumonia.

Skin Infections

Klebsiella pneumoniae can infect your skin or soft tissue if it enters through a break in your skin. This is common with wounds caused by surgery or injury. Fever, blisters, fatigue, and pain at the wound or surgical site are all possible symptoms.

Urinary Tract Infections

Klebsiella urinary tract infections occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract. Though it can affect anyone, you are more likely to be affected if you have a urinary catheter.

Meningitis

When pneumoniae enters the membranes surrounding the spinal cord and brain, it can cause bacterial meningitis. It is a serious infection that is fatal if not handled correctly.

The infection can cause swelling of the tissues surrounding the brain, interfering with blood flow.

This can lead to paralysis or a stroke. Symptoms such as headaches, high fever, and stiff neck usually appear within 24 hours of infection.

Bacterial meningitis can be fatal if left untreated.

Blood Infections

Pneumoniae that enters the bloodstream can cause bacteremia, or blood infection.

Bacteremia must be treated as soon as possible because these infections can progress to sepsis and septic shock, both of which can be fatal.

Tell your doctor right away if you’ve recently had a medical or dental procedure or are in the hospital and have a sudden fever and chills.

Klebsiella Pneumoniae Infection Causes

Infections are uncommon in healthy people because their immune systems are robust enough to fight off germs.

However, infections are more likely if you have a medical condition such as cancer or diabetes.

These germs don’t circulate in the air. Direct contact is required to become ill. Touching a cut on your skin with dirty hands is one method.

The majority of infections occur in nursing homes, hospitals, and other places where there are a large number of sick people.

Klebsiella Pneumoniae Infection Diagnosis

Klebsiella infections are diagnosed through a laboratory test that examines a sample of infected tissue, such as urine, or blood. 

Ultrasounds, CT scans, and X-rays may also be used to assist your doctor on making a diagnosis.

In addition to the blood tests commonly used to diagnose klebsiella infection, your doctor will order susceptibility tests, also known as sensitivity analyses, to see which antibiotics are likely to be effective in treating the infection.

Klebsiella Pneumoniae Infection Treatment

Antibiotics are typically used to treat Klebeialla pneumoniae infections. However, the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria has complicated matters.

Some Klebeialla pneumoniae “superbug” strains are immune to most antibiotics, including carbapenems, which are considered last-resort drugs.

If the doctor orders antibiotics, the patient must take them exactly as prescribed. If the patient discontinued them earlier than prescribed, the infection may reoccur.

If the patients have an antibiotic-resistant infection, the doctor will determine the best way to treat it. They will almost certainly try a different antibiotic or a combination of antibiotics.

Klebsiella Pneumoniae Infection Prevention

If patients go to the hospital for treatment, they must take the following precautions:

  • Before going to the hospital, patients must ensure that they follow the treatment plan for any current health conditions, such as diabetes.
  • Inquire with the staff about the precautions they take to avoid infection.
  • Request that anyone entering their room wash their hands first.
  • Inform family members about fever and other symptoms of infection so that they can seek help as soon as possible.

Patients should also wash their hands frequently to prevent the spread of germs, including after using the restroom, before touching their nose, eyes, or mouth, before preparing or eating food, and after sneezing or coughing.

Summary

Klebsiella pneumoniae is usually harmless when found in the intestines and feces, but it can be dangerous when found in other parts of the body.

Klebsiella infections can be fatal in the bladder, lungs, liver, eyes, brain, blood, and wounds. The symptoms vary according to the type of infection.

Person-to-person contact is used to spread the infection. When people are sick, the risk increases. Klebsiella infection does not occur in healthy people in general.

Jennifer Dawkins

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