Klebsiella pneumoniae Flocculation Dynamics
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- Bortz, D.M., Jackson, T.L., Taylor, K.A. et al. Bull. Math. Biol. (2008) 70: 745. doi:10.1007/s11538-007-9277-y
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The bacterial pathogen Klebsiella pneumoniae is a cause of community- and hospital-acquired lung, urinary tract and blood stream infections. It is a common contaminant of indwelling catheters and it is theorized in that context that systemic infection follows shedding of aggregates off of surface-adherent biofilm colonies. In an effort to better understand bacterial proliferation in the host bloodstream, we develop a PDE model for the flocculation dynamics of Klebsiella pneumoniae in suspension. Existence and uniqueness results are provided, as well as a brief description of the numerical approximation scheme. We generate artificial data and illustrate the requirements to accurately identify proliferation, aggregation, and fragmentation of flocs in the experimental domain of interest.