Klebsiella pneumoniae infection biology living to counteract host defences

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Klebsiella species cause a wide range of diseases including pneumonia, UTIs, bloodstream infections, and sepsis. These infections are particularly a problem among neonates, elderly and immunocompromised individuals. Klebsiella is also responsible for a significant number of community-acquired infections. A defining feature of these infections is their morbidity and mortality, and the Klebsiella strains associated with them are considered hypervirulent. The increasing isolation of multidrug resistant strains has significantly narrowed, or in some settings completely removed, the therapeutic options for the treatment of Klebsiella infections. Not surprisingly, this pathogen has then been singled out as an 'urgent threat to human health' by several organizations. This review summarizes the tremendous progress has been made to uncover the sophisticated immune evasion strategies of K. pneumoniae. The co-evolution of Klebsiella in response to the challenge of an activated immune has made Klebsiella a formidable pathogen exploiting stealth strategies and actively suppressing innate immune defences to overcome host responses to survive in the tissues. A better understanding of Klebsiella immune evasion strategies in the context of the host-pathogen interactions is pivotal to develop new therapeutics, which can be based on antagonizing the anti-immune strategies of this pathogen.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFEMS microbiology reviews
Early online date18 Nov 2018
Publication statusEarly online date - 18 Nov 2018

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