Study: Drug-resistant bloodstream infection risk increases when drug-resistant bacteria are found in stool, urine

The presence of antibiotic-resistance bacteria in a person's stool or urine indicates an increased risk of developing a drug-resistant bloodstream infection, such as sepsis, according to research presented at the 27th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. The meeting was held from April 22 to April 25, in Vienna, Austria.

Swedish researchers conducted the study that involved 66,000 people. The study focused on drug-resistant bacteria known as extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae, or EPE. Of the 66,000 study participants examined between 2007 and 2012, 22,000 had EPE in their urine or stool samples. The other 44,000 people had no diagnosis of EPE.

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The study shows the people whose bowels had been colonized previously by EPE were 57 times more likely to develop a bloodstream infection with EPE, compared to the general population.

The people who had a previous EPE finding in their urine were 113 times more likely than the general population to develop a bloodstream infection with EPE. Around 2 percent of those with EPE in the bowel and 4 percent of those with a urinary tract infection went on to have a bloodstream infection with EPE, as compared to only 0.02 percent of the general population.

According to researchers, in some cases the EPE bacteria is moving from the bowels or urinary tract to the bloodstream. In other cases, the bacteria is imparting its resistance to other bacteria, which then causes the bloodstream infections.

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