A 5-year study of the seroepidemiology of Klebsiella pneumoniae: high prevalence of capsular serotype K1 in Taiwan and implication for vaccine efficacy

J Infect Dis. 2000 Jun;181(6):2075-9. doi: 10.1086/315488. Epub 2000 May 23.


Seroepidemiology of Klebsiella pneumoniae was determined for 1000 nonrepetitive K. pneumoniae isolates collected by a medical center in Taiwan during 1993-1997. Of these, 630 isolates (63%) were from community-acquired infections; the rest were from hospital-acquired infections. The isolates were serotyped according to capsular antigen by countercurrent immunoelectrophoresis. About 77% were typeable. Serotypes K1 and K2 accounted for 21.7% and 9.3% of the isolates, respectively, followed by K57 (5.1%), K54 (4.2%), K21 (3. 3%), and K16 (3%). The frequency of serotype K1 among bacteremic isolates (30.8%) far exceeded that reported by other investigators worldwide. Molecular typing of random K1 isolates by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis revealed several different pulsotypes, suggesting a nonclonal spread. This study indicates that a Klebsiella vaccine developed in Europe is not optimal for use in Taiwan because it does not contain the most predominant serotypes-K1, K54, and K57.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood*
  • Bacterial Capsules / immunology*
  • Bacterial Vaccines / immunology
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Pulsed-Field
  • Humans
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / classification*
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / immunology
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial / immunology
  • Serotyping
  • Taiwan / epidemiology
  • Time Factors
  • Trimethoprim, Sulfamethoxazole Drug Combination / pharmacology


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Vaccines
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial
  • Trimethoprim, Sulfamethoxazole Drug Combination