Ankylosing spondylitis is linked to Klebsiella--the evidence

Clin Rheumatol. 2007 Jun;26(6):858-64. doi: 10.1007/s10067-006-0488-7. Epub 2006 Dec 21.


Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic inflammatory spinal and large-joint arthritic and potentially disabling condition, mainly affecting males of young age groups. Extensive literature based on the results of various genetic, microbiological, molecular and immunological studies carried out by independent research groups suggests that Klebsiella pneumoniae is the main microbial agent being implicated as a triggering and/or perpetuating factor in the etiopathogenesis of AS. Novel diagnostic markers and criteria based on the association with high anti-Klebsiella antibodies could be used in the detection of AS patients during early stages of the disease, and together with the current treatments might help in implementing the use of new therapeutic anti-microbial measures in the management of AS. Prospective longitudinal studies with the use of anti-microbial measures in patients with AS are required to establish the therapeutic benefit of this microbe-disease association.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Bacterial / immunology
  • HLA-B27 Antigen / immunology
  • Humans
  • Klebsiella Infections / complications*
  • Klebsiella Infections / immunology
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / immunology
  • Molecular Mimicry / immunology*
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / immunology
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / microbiology*


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • HLA-B27 Antigen