Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 26, Issue 6, pp 858–864 | Cite as

Ankylosing spondylitis is linked to Klebsiella—the evidence

  • Taha Rashid
  • Alan EbringerEmail author
Review Article


Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic inflammatory spinal and large-joint arthritic and potentially disabling condition, mainly affecting males of young age groups. Extensive literature based on the results of various genetic, microbiological, molecular and immunological studies carried out by independent research groups suggests that Klebsiella pneumoniae is the main microbial agent being implicated as a triggering and/or perpetuating factor in the etiopathogenesis of AS. Novel diagnostic markers and criteria based on the association with high anti-Klebsiella antibodies could be used in the detection of AS patients during early stages of the disease, and together with the current treatments might help in implementing the use of new therapeutic anti-microbial measures in the management of AS. Prospective longitudinal studies with the use of anti-microbial measures in patients with AS are required to establish the therapeutic benefit of this microbe–disease association.


Ankylosing spondylitis Klebsiella 



We thank the trustees of the Middlesex Hospital, the Arthritis Research Campaign (Grant EO514) and “American Friends of King’s College London” for their support.


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Copyright information

© Clinical Rheumatology 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Biomedical and Health SciencesKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of RheumatologyMiddlesex Hospital, University CollegeLondonUK

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