Somatic serogroups, capsular types, & species of fecal Klebsiella in patients with AS

The purpose of the present study was to find out whether
patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) carry fecal
Klebsiella strains that belong to serotypes or species
specific for AS. Somatic serotypes (O groups), capsular (K)
serotypes, and biochemically identified species were
determined for fecal klebsiellae isolated from 187 AS patients
and 195 control patients. The controls were patients with
fibromyalgia or rheumatoid arthritis. The 638 isolates of
Klebsiella that were obtained represented 161 strains; 81 from
AS patients and 80 from the controls. The average number of
Klebsiella strains per patient was 1.7 for the AS group and
1.5 for the control group. The most common O group was O1,
which was observed for isolates from 23 of 187 AS patients and
24 of 195 control patients. Next in frequency was group O2,
which was observed for isolates from 17 AS patients and 15
control patients. Regarding the K serotypes, 59 different
types were identified, revealing a heterogeneous
representation of Klebsiella strains, without a predominance
of any serotype. By biochemical identification, Klebsiella
pneumoniae was the most frequently occurring species, being
found in 45 AS patients and 45 control patients. Next in the
frequency was K. oxytoca, which was observed in 26 AS patients
and in 29 control patients. K. planticola and K. terrigena
occurred in only a minority of patients. Altogether, when
analyzed either separately or simultaneously according to O
groups, K serotypes, and biochemically identified species, no
evidence of the existence of AS-specific Klebsiella strains
was obtained. These findings do not indicate participation of
Klebsiella in the etiopathogenesis of AS.

Toivanen P, Hansen DS, Mestre F, Lehtonen L, Vaahtovuo J, Vehma M, Mottonen T, Saario R, Luukkainen R, Nissila M

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