Extended Spectrum Beta Lactamase Infection
ESBLs are enzymes that are produced by bacteria. The enzymes make the bacteria resistant to many kinds of antibiotics.
It is possible to carry these bacteria without being sick. This is called being colonized. A person who is colonized can still spread the infection to others. The bacteria that carry the enzymes can cause serious infections, such as those in the:
- Urinary tract
- Respiratory tract
If not treated, the condition can be fatal.
|The bacteria can travel to the intestines, causing a serious infection.|
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This condition occurs when the body is infected with bacteria. These bacteria produce enzymes that make the infection resistant to many kinds of antibiotics. That is why it is so hard to treat.
These bacteria can be easily spread in close living areas, like hospitals. They are most often spread by:
- Medical equipment
- The hands of healthcare workers
Factors that increase your risk of being colonized by or infected with ESBL include:
- Admission to an intensive care unit (ICU)
- Recent surgery
- A long hospital stay
- Use of invasive medical devices, such as a urinary catheter
- Antibiotic use
- Nursing home residence
- Recurrent urinary tract infections
- Use of a feeding tube
- Poor nutrition
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. There are only a few antibiotics that can be used to treat this infection.
It is also important to take steps to control the spread of ESBL infections, such as:
- Preventing the spread of ESBL-producing bacteria to others by isolation, hand washing , and other steps
- Avoiding unnecessary procedures or unnecessary use of antibiotics
To help reduce your chance of an ESBL infection:
- Wash your hands thoroughly, and ask others to wash their hands.
- Avoid coming into contact with people who have this infection.
- Make sure healthcare staff and visitors wash their hands before and after touching you or touching contaminated surfaces.
- Make sure healthcare staff and visitors use gloves.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases http://www.niaid.nih.gov
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
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