Klebsiella pneumoniae is a bacterium from the so called enterobacteria group which occur naturally in the guts of animals and humans. Other causal agents of mastitis belong into this group: Enterobacter cloaceae, Enterobacter aglomerans, Proteus vulgaris, Serratia marcescens and Serratia odorifera. They are gram-negative rods which grow in the G- sector at the PM test in the Petri dish. Altogether, these infections are called enterobacterial mastitides – they have severe acute course with very severe clinical sings. The microorganisms mentioned above naturally occur in faeces and thus in the bedding material, on the skin of the udder etc. They get into the mammary gland through the opened teat canal, through the milking machine (e. g. due to fluctuating vacuum) but also with blood from the digestive system and from tiny injuries of the udder skin. The clinical disease often develops due to negative factors which weaken resistance of the cow (stress, change in feed etc).
Clinical signs are usually severe – fever, muscle tremor, anorexia, cessation of rumination, diarrhoea, lying down, frequently ending with death in 24 hours.
Sometimes, Klebsiella pneumoniae infections are chronic without impairment of the overall health. Even latent infections have been reported.
But in the case of mastitis caused by enterobacteria it is always necessary to expect the acute and severe course.