How do Klebsiella bacteria overcome innate host immunity?

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

The bacteria overcome innate host immunity through several means. They possess a polysaccharide capsule, which is the main determinant of their pathogenicity. The capsule is composed of complex acidic polysaccharides. Its massive layer protects the bacterium from phagocytosis by polymorphonuclear granulocytes. In addition, the capsule prevents bacterial death caused by bactericidal serum factors. This is accomplished mainly by inhibiting the activation or uptake of complement components, especially C3b. The bacteria also produce multiple adhesins. These may be fimbrial or nonfimbrial, each with distinct receptor specificity. These help the microorganism to adhere to host cells, which is critical to the infectious process.


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