JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Somatic serogroups, capsular types, and species of fecal Klebsiella in patients with ankylosing spondylitis.

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.

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