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Diagnosed with Klebsiella pneumoniae. What is the cause? Is it contagious?

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My wife just got diagnosed with Klebsiella pneumoniae, after getting a urine test due to a bladder infection/UTI. I can't seem to find alot of straight forward information on it. I know that it is highly resistant to antibiotics. Is it curable, what are the causes, is she contagious. Do I need to get tested?
Posted Sun, 10 Nov 2013 in Medicines and Side Effects
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Not need for testing if

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thank you so much for this query.

I am so sorry to hear about this recent diagnosis of UTI caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae in your wife. Don't panic just yet! The following information should be of help to you.

What is klebsiella?
It is a type of Gram-negative bacteria that can cause different types of healthcare-associated infections like UTI, pneumonia, wound, etc. Klebsiella bacteria are normally found in the human intestines (where they do not cause disease). They are also found in human stool (feces).

What are the causes?
It is more likely to occur among patients whose care requires devices like ventilators (breathing machines) or intravenous (vein) catheters, indwelling catheters and patients who are taking long courses of certain antibiotics are most at risk for Klebsiella infections. Healthy people usually do not get Klebsiella infections.

Is it curable?
Yes, it is totally curable. After the urine testing, germ identification and antibiotic sensitivity, the exact drug that can act on this would be prescribed. if there is a resistance identified, then you shall be notified and drugs tried accordingly. The most commonly used drugs are called the carbapenems. It does not mean they are all resistant to antibiotics but more likely to show some resistance than any other common germs.

is she contagious?
Yes. she is contagious and would only infect you if you downplay frequent washing of hands with soap especially after taking care of her. Simple hand washing is enough to control the spread. It does not travel by air and thus its spread just like many other germs that benefit from poor hygienic practices. However, if you are healthy, you are at a very low risk of contracting this disease.

Do I need to get tested?
No, there is no need to get tested unless you have symptoms suggestive of an infection.

I hope this answers your query fully. I am certain it has calmed you down. Feel free to ask for more clarifications if need be. I a providing this website for your further reading if you have the time to. Else, i have addressed most of the basics that you need. WWW.WWWW.WW
Thank you for using our services. i wish your wife a speedy recovery.
Dr. Ditah, MD

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Diagnosed with Klebsiella pneumoniae. What is the cause? Is it contagious? 25 minutes later
Thank you for the quick response,

What is the cause of this? She hasn't been experiencing any symptoms so the call from the doctor came as a bit of a surprise? I've found most of the information that you provided around klebsiella, but can't find much in detail with it occurring with UTI/bladder infection. Any more elaboration would be appreciated. Is it possible that she got it from me? I take it that sexual intercourse should be postponed?
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 28 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Not sexually related....You can continue with sex

Detailed Answer:
Klebsiella causes infection of the urinary tract when it is introduced to the region by spread of fecal matter containing the organism. Remember I told you it is found in a harmless state in the intestines and sent out with feces. If by any chance it gets into the urinary tract, it can cause this infection.

It is true that persons with the mentioned risk factors like indwelling catheters, ventilators, prolonged use of antibiotics are at increased rate than those who do not have these predisposing factors. It in no way implies that this infection must and can only occur exclusively in these individuals. It is a lot more difficult to affect otherwise normal people without these risk factors but not an impossibility. For sure, it would be a surprise but not an abnormal or impossible observation.

I cannot tell for sure what the origin is but by some chance it found its way into the urinary tract. Like you must have seen, it is mostly about getting it through fecal contamination and none respect for basic hygiene rules. One thing is sure, it is not a sexually transmitted infection.

I wish you well. Feel free to keep the discussion going.
Dr. Ditah, Md

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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