2006, pp 159-196

The Genus Klebsiella

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Taxonomic History and Structure

Historical Developments

The genus Klebsiella, in the family Enterobacteriaceae, was named by Trevisan (1885) to honor the German microbiologist Edwin Klebs (1834–1913). The type species is Klebsiella pneumoniae (Schroeter, 1886; Trevisan, 1887). The first Klebsiella species ever described was a capsulated bacillus from patients with rhinoscleroma (Von Frisch, 1882). The organism was named “Klebsiella rhinoscleromatis” by Trevisan (1887).

Abel (1893) observed a capsulated bacillus, “Bacillus mucosus ozaenae” from the nasal secretion of patients with ozaena. The bacterium was later transferred to the genus Klebsiella as K. ozaenae (Bergey et al., 1925).

Friedländer (1982) described a bacterium from the lungs of a patient who had died of pneumonia. The organism was named “Hyalococcus pneumoniae “ (Schroeter, 1889) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (Trevisan, 1887). Considerable confusion occurred for many years since the organism could not be objectively separated from