Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase Infection
by Sarah J. Kerr, BA
Extended spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs) are enzymes made by bacteria. They make it harder for the usual medicines to care for infections. Without them, getting sick can lead to serious health problems or death.
Certain bacteria cause the infections. Some people carry them without being sick, but can spread it to others.
The most common place to have contact with these germs is from a hospital stay. The healthcare staff spread germs by touching people. The most common type is a urinary tract infection.
Risk also comes from:
Symptoms depend on the where the infection is. These may be:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. You may have:
Only certain antibiotics can treat ESBL infections.
To lower the chances of infection, healthcare staff will make sure people:
You can lower your chances by:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Public Health Agency of Canada
Antibiotic/antimicrobial resistance. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance. Updated March 29, 2018. Accessed May 21, 2018.
Dhillon RH, Clark J. ESBLs: a clear and present danger? Crit Care Res Pract. 2012;2012:1-11.
Doi Y, Adams J, O'Keefe Alexandra, Quereshi Z, Ewan L, Paterson DS. Community-acquired extended spectrum beta-lactamase producers, United States. Emerg Infect Dis. 2007;13(7): 1121-1123.
Extended spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed... . Updated November 7, 2017. Accessed May 21, 2018.
Paterson DL, Bonomo RA. Extended-spectrum beta-lactamases: a clinical update. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2005;18(4):657–686.
Last reviewed May 2018 by David L. Horn, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 5/21/2018
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