Klebsiella pneumonia and VXN-319

Vaxxilon is developing VXN-319 , a semi-synthetic multivalent vaccine, targeting more than 80% of Klebsiella pneumonaie strains that are resistant to carbapenem antibiotics.

Klebsiella pneumoniae (K. pneumoniae) is the third most common hospital acquired infection and the incidence is increasing rapidly. It is a major culprit for anti-microbial resistance (AMR) and it is on the WHO priority pathogen list and is an urgent threat according to the US Centers for Disease Control.

K. pneumoniae is a Gram-negative bacterium found in the normal flora of the human mouth and intestine that primarily causes hospital-acquired infections but can also cause community-acquired infections in immunocompromised patients. It is transmitted on medical equipment, on the hands of healthcare workers, or from environmental reservoirs.

Common clinical presentations and accompanying symptoms of K. pneumoniae can infection include:

  • Pneumonia: fever, cough, increased sputum production, pleuritic chest pain, dyspnea, and tachypnea.
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI): frequency, dysuria, malaise, fever, loin pain
  • Liver abscess: fever, right upper quadrant abdominal pain, chills
  • Less common presentations include spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, endophthalmitis, skin and soft tissue infections, and brain abscess.

Populations at greatest risk of K. pneumoniae infection are immunocompromised individuals, those with diabetes, chronic lung conditions, HIV, and many hospitalised patients with other severe conditions.

Potential health Impact

Direct health impact

Global data on disease burden is not available from the IHME, WHO or in the research literature 31,32. The global burden of UTIs and lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) including pneumonia from all causes are available from the IHME 31. A review of the research literature suggests that K. pneumoniae is responsible for ~7% of UTIs 82 and ~4% of LRTIs 33. Given the lack of direct data on the burden of K. pneumoniae, it is challenging to assess the global burden precisely with confidence. A full methodology for this assessment can be found in the appendix.

Sub-population benefits

A vaccine would particularly benefit immunocompromised individuals, hospitalised patients (including intensive care patients and patients with invasive devices, including urinary catheters, the elderly, and individuals with chronic conditions (including chronic lung conditions, chronic liver disease, and dialysis patients).

Urgency of AMR threat

K. pneumoniae strains have been reported worldwide. CPE strains frequently also exhibit resistance to fluoroquinolones and aminoglycosides 249.

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