What is the typical disease course of Klebsiella infections?

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

Infection with Klebsiella organisms occurs in the lungs, where they cause destructive changes. Necrosis, inflammation, and hemorrhage occur within lung tissue, sometimes producing a thick, bloody, mucoid sputum described as currant jelly sputum. The illness typically affects middle-aged and older men with debilitating diseases such as alcoholism, diabetes, or chronic bronchopulmonary disease. This patient population is believed to have impaired respiratory host defenses. The organisms gain access after the host aspirates colonizing oropharyngeal microbes into the lower respiratory tract.


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