What are the sources of enterococcal bacteremia?

Updated: Jun 10, 2021
  • Author: Susan L Fraser, MD; Chief Editor: John L Brusch, MD, FACP  more...
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Answer

Sources of enterococcal bacteremia include the urinary tract, intra-abdominal foci, wounds, and intravascular catheters, especially catheters in femoral locations.

Community-acquired enterococcal bacteremia is more commonly associated with endocarditis (up to 36% of cases) than nosocomial bacteremia (0.8%).

Nosocomial enterococcal bacteremias may arise from various sources. Polymicrobial bacteremias including enterococci and other bowel flora should increase the index of suspicion for an intra-abdominal source. Other sources may include surgical sites and burn wound infections.

Blood cultures that grow enterococci may be positive because of contamination of the skin with these organisms. A blood culture positive for Enterococcus species in the absence of evidence of ongoing infection should raise this possibility.


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