Recent Research Examining Links Among Klebsiella pneumoniae from Food, Food Animals, and Human Extraintestinal Infections

Curr Environ Health Rep. 2016 Jun;3(2):128-35. doi: 10.1007/s40572-016-0089-9.


Klebsiella pneumoniae is a colonizer of livestock, a contaminant of retail meats and vegetables, and a cause of extraintestinal infections in humans. Antibiotic-resistant strains of K. pneumoniae are becoming increasingly prevalent among hospital and community-acquired infections. Antibiotics are used extensively in conventional food-animal production, where they select for antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Antibiotic-resistant K. pneumoniae has been isolated from livestock as well as from a variety of retail meats, seafood, and vegetables. Furthermore, recent phylogenetic analyses suggest close relationships between K. pneumoniae from humans and livestock. Therefore, it is essential that we quantify the contribution of foodborne K. pneumoniae to antibiotic-resistant human infections.

Keywords: Agricultural antibiotic use; Antibiotic resistance; Extraintestinal infection; Food-animal production; Foodborne pathogen; Livestock; Opportunistic infection; Transmission.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Community-Acquired Infections / microbiology
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial
  • Food Microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Klebsiella Infections / microbiology*
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / drug effects
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / isolation & purification*
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / pathogenicity
  • Livestock / microbiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Seafood / microbiology