Virulence Factors in Hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae

Jie Zhu, Tao Wang, Liang Chen, Hong Du

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae (hvKP) has spread globally since first described in the Asian Pacific Rim. It is an invasive variant that differs from the classical K. pneumoniae (cKP), with hypermucoviscosity and hypervirulence, causing community-acquired infections, including pyogenic liver abscess, pneumonia, meningitis, and endophthalmitis. It utilizes a battery of virulence factors for survival and pathogenesis, such as capsule, siderophores, lipopolysaccharide, fimbriae, outer membrane proteins, and type 6 secretion system, of which the former two are dominant. This review summarizes these hvKP-associated virulence factors in order to understand its molecular pathogenesis and shed light on new strategies to improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of hvKP-causing infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number642484
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
StatePublished - Apr 8 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


  • Klebsiella pneumoniae
  • capsule
  • hypermucoviscous
  • hypervirulence
  • siderophores
  • virulence factors


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