Klebsiella is a type of gram negative bacteria that can cause severe infections such as pneumonia, bloodstream infections, wound infections, and meningitis.
Exposure occurs when the bacteria enters the respiratory tract to cause pneumonia or the bloodstream to cause an infection. The bacteria are spread through direct contact from patient to patient on the hands of healthcare personnel.
When the bacteria Klebsiella Pneumoniae produce an enzyme known as Carbapenemase they become drug resistant. At that point Carbapenem Antibiotics, often the last line of defense against antibiotic resistant infections will fail to treat the infection.
The best way to avoid infection is to wash hands frequently. Hospital personnel should also follow specific infection control precautions such as wearing gowns and gloves.