Genus Klebsiella
Taxonomy
Morphology
Cultural characteristics
Biochemical characters
Ecology
Pathogenicity
References
Phylum Proteobacteria, Class Gammaproteobacteria, Order Enterobacteriales, Family Enterobacteriaceae, Genus Klebsiella,
- Klebsiella pneumoniae subsp. pneumoniae – type species of the genus, Trevisan 1887, old synonym: Bacillus pneumoniae
Schroeter 1886
- Klebsiella pneumoniae subsp. ozaenae Orskov 1984 (Bacterium ozanae, Abel 1893)
- Klebsiella pneumoniae subsp. rhinoscleromatis Orskov 1984 (Trevisan 1887)
- Klebsiella granulomatis Carter et al. 1999, basonym: Calymmatobacterium granulomatis Aragao & Vianna 1913, historical synonyms:
Encapsulatus inguinalis Bergey et al. 1923, Klebsiella granulomatis  Bergey et al. 1925, Donovania granulomatis Anderson et al. 1944;
- Klebsiella oxytoca Lautrop 1956, (Bacillus oxytocus perniciosus Flügge 1886)
- Klebsiella singaporensis Li et al. 2004
- Klebsiella variicola Rosenblueth et al. 2004

K. planticola, K. ornithinolytica & K. terrigena, were transferred to genus Raoultella.
K. mobilis Bascomb et al. 1971 is a later synonym of Enterobacter aerogenes.
Gram negative, straight, non-motile, capsulated, 0.3-1.0 μm x 0.6-6 μm bacilli.
K. oxytoca strains produce a dark brown pigment when growth on media containing
gluconate and ferric citrate.
Glistening moist colonies of varying degrees of stikiness (M–type colonies). K.
granulomatis
grows intracellulaly only; it has not been cultured.
No special requirements. Facultatively anaerobic, optimum growth temperature 35 -
37 ºC. Media: Nutrient agar or nutrient broth, Trypticase Soy Agar ± 5% sheep blood,
Mac Conkey, Mueller-Hinton agar.
K. granulomatis grow in the yolk sac of developing embryo or in cell cultures (fresh
mononuclear cells or Hep-2 cell line.
Widely distributed in nature. Isolated from soil and plants, where they seem to be
responsible for nitrogen fixation, also isolated from water, and some from clinical
specimens (humans & animals).
K (capsular) and O (somatic) antigens presented. Cross-reaction of K & O antigens of
Klebsiella with antigens of
E. coli, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Salmonella
paratyphi
may occur. No H (flagellar) antigens presented.
Many strains produce bacteriocins.
- Klebsiella pneumoniae subsp. pneumoniae may cause infections of the urinary and
respiratory tract (pneumonia) in humans and animals (capsule type 1,2 & 3), also
metritis in mares.
K. pneumoniae capsule type 1 & 2 are highly virulent for mice.
May cause meningitis, diarrhea, bacteremia, wounds & burns infections.
Enterotoxin similar to ST and LT and plasmid mediated.
Also isolated from plants – rice.
Leg arthritis followed by leg necrosis & septicaemia in canaries (admin note).
- Klebsiella pneumoniae subsp. ozaenae occurs in ozena (a chronic disease of the nose characterized by a foul-smelling nasal
discharge and atrophy of nasal structures) and other chronic diseases of the respiratory tract.
- Klebsiella pneumoniae subsp. rhinoscleromatis causes a slowly progressing granulomatous disease of the nasal mucous
membrane (rhinoscleroma).
- Klebsiella granulomatis causes donovanosis (chronic genital ulceration).
- Klebsiella variicola was isolated from plants and clinical samples.
- K. singaporensis was isolated from soil.
  1. J. G.Holt et al., 1994. Begey’s manual of Determinative Bacteriology, 9th-edition, Williams & Wilkins.
  2. Don J. Brenner and J.J. Farmer III, 2001. Family I. Enterobacteriaceae. In:  Bergey’s Manual of Systematic Bacteriology, Second
    edition,Vol two, part B, George M. Garrity (Editor-in-Chief), pp 587-897.
  3. Carter J.S., Bowden F.J., Bastian I., Myers G.M., Sriprakash K.S. & Kemp D.J.: Phylogenetic evidence for reclassification of
    Calymmatobacterium granulomatis as Klebsiella granulomatis comb. nov. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol., 1999, 49, 1695-1700.
  4. Sakazaki R., Tamura K., Kosako Y. and Yoshizaki E.: Klebsiella ornithinolytica sp. nov., formerly known as ornithine-positive
    Klebsiella oxytoca. Curr. Microbiol., 1989, 18, 201-206.
  5. Gavini F. et al.: Priority of Klebsiella planticola Bagley, Seidler, and Brenner 1982 over Klebsiella trevisanii Ferragut, Izard, Gavini,
    Kersters, De Ley, and Leclerc 1983. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol., 1986, 36, 486-488.
  6. Li X., Zhang D., Chen F., Ma J., Dong Y. & Zhang L.: Klebsiella singaporensis sp. nov., a novel isomaltulose-producing bacterium.
    Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol., 2004, 54, 2131-2136.
  7. Izard D., Ferragut C., Gavini F., Kersters K., De Ley J. & Leclerc H.: Klebsiella terrigena, a new species from soil and water. Int. J.
    Syst. Bacteriol., 1981, 31, 116-127.
  8. Rosenblueth M. et al.: Klebsiella variicola, a novel species with clinical and plant-associated isolates. Syst. Appl. Microbiol., 2004,
    27, 27-35
  9. R. Podschun et al.: Isolation of Klebsiella planticola from Newborns in a Neonatal Ward Journal of Clinical Microbiology, August
    1998, p. 2331-2332, Vol. 36, No. 8
Positive results for catalase, nitrate reduction (except K. singaporensis), esculin
hydrolysis (most strains),acid production from: L-arabinose, D-adonitol, cellobiose,
glucose, mannitol, melibiose, maltose, D-mannose, raffinose, salicin, trehalose &
D-xylose.

Negative results for oxidase, arginine dihydrolase, H
2S production, phenylalanine
deaminase, gelatin hydrolysis, DN-ase & lipase.

Klebsiella variicola - can only be genetically differentiated from K. pneumoniae
strains; do not ferment adonitol.
K granulomatis doesn't grow in bacteriological media.
(c) Costin Stoica
Klebsiella pneumoniae on Mac Conkey agar
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R E G N U M
PROKARYOTAE
 
ONPG
Lysine
decarboxylase
Ornithine
decarboxylase
Indole
production
Citrate
utilization
Voges-Proskauer
Urea
hydrolysiss
Klebsiella oxytoca
+
+
-
+
+
+
+
Klebsiella pneumoniae
subsp. ozaenae
[+]
d
-
-
d
-
-
Klebsiella pneumoniae
subsp. pneumoniae
+
+
-
-
+
+
+
Klebsiella pneumoniae
subsp. rhinoscleromatis
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
Raoultella  ornithinolytica
+
+
+
+
+
[+]
+
Raoultella  planticola
+
+
-
[-]
+
+
+
Raoultella terrigena
+
+
[-]
-
d
+
-
Differential characters of the species from genera Klebsiella and Raoultella:
Legend: +  positive 90-100%, - negative 90-100%, [+] positive 75-89%, [-] negative 75-89%, d positive 25-74% of strains
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