Ninety-four episodes of Klebsiella pneumoniae bloodstream infection were identified at a university hospital in Japan. After excluding extended-spectrum beta lactamase-producing strains, 83 blood isolates from these patients were assayed in terms of their bacterial phenotypes such as the mucoid and hypermucoviscosity phenotypes. Bacterial phenotypes were correlated with the patients' clinical manifestations. The hypermucoviscosity phenotype was significantly associated with septic shock at the onset of infections (odds ratio, 15.92; 95% confidence interval, 1.27-468.12), but was not associated with liver abscess formation. Mortality was determined by the presence of septic shock. RmpA gene was associated with the induction of the hypermucoviscosity phenotype. These results reveal unique roles of bacterial phenotypes on the patient's clinical condition in K. pneumoniae bacteremia.
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