Increasing antimicrobial resistance in strains of Escherichia coli is having a major impact on the healthcare industry worldwide. The appearance of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) strains has caused clinicians to worry that these strains might become as deadly as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains. It is vital that physicians have resources available to help keep them updated on these bacteria and the potential impact on healthcare. This chapter reviews the major strains of E. coli (intestinal and urinary), along with a review of the virulence factors, main diseases caused, and pertinent pathogenesis. The chapter then discusses antimicrobial therapy, what drugs are effective against these E. coli strains, and the development of resistance to these specific drug classes. Lastly, the molecular aspects of antimicrobial resistance mechanisms in this organism are discussed. This information will be especially helpful for physicians in providing them with a concise review of E. coli and an understanding of what is involved in antimicrobial resistance. Hopefully this information can be used to improve the outcomes for patients with E. coli infections.
Part of the book: Escherichia coli