Escherichia coli (E. coli)
There are many types of E. coli organisms, the more common types of E. coli cause urinary tract infections.
When someone has an urinary tract infection, the bacteria in the urinary tract can also find their way into the blood, causing a bacteraemia.
E. coli urinary tract infection is the commonest type of urinary tract infection in the community, but can also be picked up in hospital practice.
E. coli infections can also develop following bowel problems and surgery as well as during long intensive care unit stays.
E. coli O157, which caused a large outbreak of diarrhoeal disease in the South Wales valleys during the autumn of 2005 is a particular type of E. coli that causes diarrhoea and produces a toxin which can attack the kidneys. E. coli O157 rarely causes bacteraemia and is, in the main, a community-acquired infection.
The E. coli types recorded in the blood stream infection list are not E. coli O157.
Last updated: 07/12/2010