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J Hyg (Lond). 1978 Feb;80(1):115-23.

A hospital epidemic caused by gentamicin-resistant Klebsiella aerogenes.


In the 15 months, February 1976 to April 1977, more than 241 patients became colonized with a strain of Klebsiella aerogenes, capsular serotype K2, resistant to most antibiotics. Urinary tract infection was the most common clinical manifestation but bacteraemia and, occasionally, infections of other sites were encountered. The main reservoir of the epidemic klebsiella was the gut, urine and skin of colonized patients. Gut carriage among staff was very uncommon. The most susceptible patients were elderly males, with debilitating illnesses and urinary tract abnormalities, especially if they were catheterized or receiving antibiotics. Likely vehicles for spread were the hands of staff, and contaminated bedpans and urinals. Control measures were directed at these factors. At the end of April 1977 no new cases had occurred for 3 months in the ward in which the outbreak began, and which had been the main focus of infection, and only 5 patients in the affected hospitals were known to be colonized by the epidemic klebsiella.

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