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Klebsiella Characteristics

Clubbing-sea-lion
Picmonic
Klebsiella is a gram-negative, oxidase-negative bacilli with a prominent polysaccharide capsule. Infections can lead to a wide range of diseases, including pneumonia and nosocomial urinary tract infections. The polysaccharide capsule is a particularly important virulence mechanism, as it helps evade phagocytosis. This organism can be distinguished from other gram-negative bacilli because it is a fast lactose fermenter, causing growth of red pink colonies on MacConkey agar. This bacteria is also notable for producing large mucoid colonies, due to the large mucoid polysaccharide capsule. 
11 KEY FACTS
CHARACTERISTICS
Gram-Negative
Graham-cracker Negative-devil

This is a gram-negative bacterium, which does not retain crystal violet dye when Gram stained due to thin peptidoglycan layer.

Bacilli
Rod

This bacteria is rod shaped.

Oxidase-Negative
Wilting Ox-daisy

An oxidase test is used to determine if bacteria produce certain cytochrome c oxidases to help differentiate bacteria. Klebsiella are oxidase-negative bacteria.

Intestinal Flora
Intestinal Flowers

Klebsiella is part of the normal intestinal flora in around 40% of people.

Antiphagocytic Virulence Factor
Tied-up Mac-man

The polysaccharide capsule is a particularly important virulence mechanism as it helps evade phagocytosis.

Polysaccharide Capsule
Polly-sack Capsule

Klebsiella has a large mucoid polysaccharide capsule that has antiphagocytic properties.

Positive Quellung Reaction
Positive Quail-lungs

A Quellung reaction is a biochemical reaction in which antibodies bind to a bacterial capsule, allowing species with a positive Quellung reaction to be visualized under a microscope. Klebsiella has a positive Quellung reaction.

Mucoid Colonies
Mucous trail

This bacteria is notable for producing large mucoid colonies due to the large mucoid polysaccharide capsule.

Urease-Positive
Positive U-eraser

This bacterium has the ability to produce urease, which hydrolyzes urea in the body to ammonia. In a urinary tract infection, this means that the urine becomes more alkaline.

Fast Lactose Fermenter
Fast Milk-carton Ferns

This organism can be distinguished from other gram-negative bacilli, because it is a fast lactose fermenter, causing growth of red pink colonies on MacConkey agar.

Pink on MacConkey Agar
Pink Monkey Petri-dish

This organism can be distinguished from other gram-negative bacilli, because it is a fast lactose fermenter, causing growth of red pink colonies on MacConkey agar.

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