What are Klebsiellae?

Updated: Jun 10, 2019
  • Author: Shahab Qureshi, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

The genus Klebsiella belongs to the tribe Klebsiellae, a member of the family Enterobacteriaceae. The organisms are named after Edwin Klebs, a 19th century German microbiologist. Klebsiellae are nonmotile, rod-shaped, gram-negative bacteria with a prominent polysaccharide capsule. This capsule encases the entire cell surface, accounts for the large appearance of the organism on gram stain, and provides resistance against many host defense mechanisms.


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