Klebsiella is a bacteria usually found in the colon, a normal element of the digestive system. When Klebsiella travels into the bloodstream or the respiratory organs, such as the lungs, very serious infections like bronchitis, pneumonia and urinary tract infections can develop. Klebsiella infections can be the result of hospital stays due to the increased risk of wound site infection, according to the CDC. The “Merck Manual” also states that Klebsiella infections are more likely in people with compromised immunity. Getting rid of a Klebsiella infection can be difficult because the bacteria is resistant to many common antibiotics.
Things You'll Need
- Blood tests
Notify your doctor if you experience symptoms that are consistent with a Klebsiella infection, especially if you have been hospitalized recently or have a weak immune system. Klebsiella that has settled in the lungs can cause you to cough up dark red phlegm. Infections in your bloodstream or urinary tract can lead to a fever, chills and flu-like symptoms, according to PersonalMD.com.
Allow your doctor to take samples to confirm the diagnosis of a Klebsiella infection. Blood tests can confirm the infection and also help determine which antibiotics will help you get rid of the dangerous bacteria. You also may be asked to give urine and sputum samples. If you have a wound from recent surgery, your doctor may swab the area to determine if Klebsiella is present.
Take antibiotics that will kill the unhealthy, gram-negative bacteria. You may begin drug treatment before receiving the results of the lab work in an effort to restore your health as soon as possible. Some of the medications that are effective on Klebsiella are third-generation cephalosporin drugs, tazobactam and cefepime. You may need to take more than one antibiotic to rid yourself of the infection.
Undergo surgery if Klebsiella pneumonia has damaged your lungs enough to severely impede respiratory function. Some people with Klebsiella lung infections require the surgical removal of scar tissue and pus that result from the bacteria.