Page 1 of 1

Risk factors for harboring multiple strains of E. coli are elusive

Research Activities, October 2009, No. 350

Risk factors for harboring multiple strains of E. coli are elusive

Although some strains of the bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli) live in the gastrointestinal tract and pose no threat, others cause stomach cramps and watery, bloody diarrhea. The bacteria are usually spread through food or water infected with feces or by contact with an infected person. Further, some individuals can be infected with more than one strain of E. coli. Knowing which patients are at risk for multiple strains of E. coli infection is important for epidemiology and infection control.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School sampled 49 residents of a long-term care facility in Philadelphia and found that 21 patients (43 percent) had more than one strain of E. coli present in their gastrointestinal tracts. Eleven patients had two strains of E. coli, eight had three strains, one had four strains, and one had five strains. After studying patient demographics, diseases, and previous antibiotic use, the researchers were unable to pinpoint specific risk factors for infection with multiple strains of E. coli. They recommend that future studies focus on how to efficiently identify patient populations colonized with multiple E. coli strains. This study was funded in part by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (HS10399).

See "Risk factors for fecal colonization with multiple distinct strains of Escherichia coli among long-term care facility residents," by Ebbing Lautenbach, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.C.E., Pam Tolomeo, M.P.H., C.C.R.P., Nicole Black, C.C.R.P., and Joel N. Maslow, M.D., Ph.D., in the May 2009 Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology 30(5), pp. 491-493.

Return to Contents
Proceed to Next Article

 

Current as of October 2009
Internet Citation: Risk factors for harboring multiple strains of E. coli are elusive: Research Activities, October 2009, No. 350. October 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://archive.ahrq.gov/news/research-activities/oct09/1009RA25.html