The emerging problems ofKlebsiella pneumoniaeinfections: carbapenem resistance and biofilm formation

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Abstract

Klebsiella pneumoniae is an opportunistic pathogen that commonly causes nosocomial infections in the urinary tract, respiratory tract, lung, wound sites and blood in individuals with debilitating diseases. Klebsiella pneumoniae is still a cause of severe pneumonia in alcoholics in Africa and Asia, and the predominant primary pathogen of primary liver abscess in Taiwan and Southeast Asia, particularly in Asian and Hispanic patients, and individuals with diabetes mellitus. In the United States and Europe, K. pneumoniae infections are most frequently associated with nosocomial infections. The emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains of K. pneumoniae worldwide has become a cause of concern where extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs) and carbapenemase-producing strains have been isolated with increasing frequency. The pathogen's ability to form biofilms on inserted devices such as urinary catheter has been proposed as one of the important mechanisms in nosocomially acquired and persistent infections, adding to the increased resistance to currently used antibiotics. In this review, infections caused by K. pneumoniae, antibiotic resistance and formation of biofilm will be discussed.

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