Infectivity of hepatic strain Klebsiella pneumoniae in diabetic mice

June Hsieh Wu*, Cheng Gie Tsai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

19 Scopus citations


Besides urinary tract infection (UTI) and pneumonia, increased severe liver abscesses caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae (KP), especially in diabetic patients, have been observed in infections acquired in hospitals. This indicates that different KP strains with higher virulence have emerged in recent years. Our goal was to investigate the infectivity of KP isolates in mice from liver abscess or UTI patients. Mice were injected with streptozotocin to induce diabetes. Male ICR mice were infected with KpU1 (UTI strain CG3 for survival experiment only) and KpL1 (liver abscess strain CG5) by tail-vein injection of 5 × 104 colony-forming units (CFU) bacterial suspension. The mice survival rates, cytokine level by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and bacterial presence in liver tissue by Giemsa stain were examined. The survival rates for the KpL1-infected animals were 28% and 0% in normal and diabetic groups, respectively, whereas, for the KpU1-infected mice, the rates were 100% and 75% during a 30-day observation. Nonsurviving KpL1-infected mice showed >105 bacteria/ml blood and the bacteria appeared in the liver sinus area and inside liver cells. The KpL1-infected mice showed a tendency to increase the blood interleukin 1β (IL-1β) level in both nondiabetic and diabetic groups, whereas the tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) level was significantly decreased in the KpL1-infected diabetic mice (P = 0.002). In conclusion, the KP strain from liver abscess showed a greater virulence in mice than the KP from UTI and was more virulent in diabetic than in nondiabetic mice. The infection with KP from liver abscess significantly decreased the blood TNF-α level in diabetes mellitus (DM) mice and the blood IL-1β level tended to increase in both infected nondiabetic and diabetic groups. High blood bacterial count and appearance of bacteria in liver sinus and cells usually contribute to death of the animals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757-761
Number of pages5
JournalExperimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - 11 2005


  • Bacterial count
  • Cytokines
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Giemsa stain
  • ICR mice
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae
  • Liver abscess
  • Survival rate


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