Objective: This study was conducted to evaluate the translocation of Klebsiella strains to organs of normal and immunocompromised mice.
Methods: An enteral diet with 6.0 × 109 CFU/mL of Klebsiella was provided to immunodepressed and healthy animals. The presence of Klebsiella in animal organs was evaluated on MacConkey-inositol-carbenicillin agar and molecular typing was assessed by means of random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD).
Results: No typical Klebsiella colonies were recovered from liver, spleen, heart, kidney or lung samples when mice were supplied with the uncontaminated enteral formula. However, typical colonies were recovered from liver and lung samples from immunocompromised animals, regardless of whether they had received contaminated diet. Translocation was also detected in non-immunocompromised mice fed with contaminated diet. There were higher counts of typical Klebsiella colonies in samples collected from the guts of animals that received prednisone and/or carbenicillin. However, the highest colony count was obtained when both drugs were administered together with the enteral formula contaminated with Klebsiella. Translocation was confirmed through similarity to the DNA band patterns of orally administered Klebsiella strains.
Conclusion: K. pneumoniae was translocated into the lungs and liver of test mice fed with a Klebsiella pool. The presence of Klebsiella with a different DNA profile in liver samples from mice that only received medication suggests that autochthonous intestinal microbial strains can also become translocated when the immune system is depressed or when selective decontamination is promoted through the use of corticoids and antibiotics.