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Home Topics Infectious Diseases Infections A-Z Klebsiella species

Klebsiella species

Klebsiella pneumoniae

Klebsiella species are rod shaped-bacteria that are found in the environment and also in the human intestinal tract. 

K. pneumoniae is the most common species isolated from hospital patients.  Most patients are colonised in a variety of sites without serious infection but rarely K. pneumoniae can cause severe pneumonia in susceptible individuals. 

Photo: Janice Carr / CDC

A second species K. oxytoca is an occasional cause of wound, bloodstream and urinary tract infections.  Klebsiella species often cause outbreaks in hospital units (liver, oncology etc.).