Clinical and microbiological characteristics of Klebsiella pneumoniae liver abscess in East China

BMC Infect Dis. 2015 Mar 27;15:161. doi: 10.1186/s12879-015-0899-7.


Background: Klebsiella pneumoniae has been the dominant pathogen for liver abscesses in several Asian countries. Although the prevalence of K. pneumoniae liver abscess (KLA) in mainland China is increasing recently, the clinical and microbiological characteristics of KLA in China have not been elucidated.

Methods: Clinical and microbiology characteristics of 45 consecutive patients with KLA from a tertiary teaching hospital in China between June 2008 and June 2012 were retrospectively evaluated.

Results: Vast majority of the strains were susceptible to main antimicrobial agents. Most of K. pneumoniae strains from pyogenic liver abscess patients belonged to K1/K2 serotype (68.9% for K1 serotype and 20% for K2 serotype). All K. pneumoniae strains were rmpA positive, and 68.9% of these strains were magA positive. Overall, 57.8% (26/45) of K. pneumoniae strains belonged to ST23. Twenty-five of 26 ST23 K. pneumoniae isolates (96.2%) from KLA patients were magA-positive and K1 serotype. Only 28.9% (13/45) of KLA isolates exhibited hypermucoviscous phenotype, which is clinically used as the characteristic of hypervirulent K. pneumoniae (hvKP). Liver abscess sizes in patients infected with hvKP were tend to be larger than those in patients infected with cKP. There was no significant association between the microbiological and clinical characteristics including serotypes, magA and rmpA genotypes, and STs with the metastatic infection and prognosis of KLA.

Conclusions: Neither the serotypes, magA and rmpA genotypes, nor the STs of K. pneumoniae were associated with the metastatic infection and prognosis of KLA. However, further studies with larger sample are needed in the future.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • China / epidemiology
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Klebsiella Infections / epidemiology
  • Klebsiella Infections / microbiology*
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / classification
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / genetics*
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / isolation & purification
  • Liver Abscess, Pyogenic / epidemiology
  • Liver Abscess, Pyogenic / microbiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Serogroup
  • Young Adult


  • DNA, Bacterial