Definition

What is Klebsiella infection?

Klebsiella infections refer to several different types of healthcare-associated infections that are all caused by the Klebsiella bacteria, including pneumonia; bloodstream infections; wound or surgical site infections; and meningitis. Healthy people usually do not get Klebsiella infections. However, people who are hospitalized and receiving treatment for other conditions may be susceptible to these infections.

How common is Klebsiella infection?

Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of Klebsiella infection?

The signs and symptoms of Klebsiella infections vary since Klebsiella bacteria can cause several different types of conditions. For example, community-acquired pneumonia is one common type of Klebsiella infection which can lead to lung damage and even death in severe cases. Early signs and symptoms of this condition include:

  • High fevers
  • Chills
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Cough with yellow and/or bloody mucus
  • Shortness of breath

Other common Klebsiella infections include bloodstream infections; wound or surgical site infections; and meningitis.

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.

Causes

What causes Klebsiella infection?

Klebsiella infection is caused by Klebsiella – a type of Gram-negative bacteria that can cause different types of healthcare-associated infections, including pneumonia, bloodstream infections, wound or surgical site infections, and meningitis. Increasingly, Klebsiella bacteria have developed antimicrobial resistance, most recently to the class of antibiotics known as carbapenems. Klebsiella bacteria are normally found in the human intestines (where they do not cause disease). They are also found in human stool (feces).

Risk factors

What increases my risk for Klebsiella infection?

There are many risk factors for Klebsiella infection, such as:

  • Use of long courses of antibiotics
  • Medical need for ventilators (breathing machines) or intravenous (vein) catheters

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is Klebsiella infection diagnosed?

Klebsiella infections are usually diagnosed by examining a small sample of blood, mucus, and/or urine. Chest x-rays or positron emission tomography (PET scan) may also be used to further evaluate infections that affect the lungs such as community-acquired pneumonia. When a Klebsiella infection is suspected, possible sites of infection including wounds, intravenous (vein) catheters, urinary catheters, and breathing machines should also be tested for the presence of Klebsiella bacteria.

How is Klebsiella infection treated?

The treatment of Klebsiella infections can be complicated since some Klebsiella bacteria are resistant to certain types of antibiotics. Once a person is diagnosed with one of these infections, a healthcare provider will usually order specialized laboratory testing (susceptibility testing) to determine which antibiotics may be used to treat the Klebsiella infection. If the healthcare provider prescribes an antibiotic, it is important to take the medication exactly as instructed and to continue taking the prescribed course, even if symptoms are gone. If treatment stops too soon, some bacteria may survive and the person may become re-infected.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage Klebsiella infection?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with Klebsiella infection:

  • Follow the treatment regimen prescribed by the healthcare provider. If the healthcare provider prescribes an antibiotic, you must take it exactly as the healthcare provider instructs. You must complete the prescribed course of medication, even if symptoms are gone.
  • Wash your hands as often as possible and follow all other hygiene recommendations.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: August 24, 2018 | Last Modified: August 24, 2018

Want to live your best life?
Get the Hello Doktor Daily newsletter for health tips, wellness updates and more.