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Enterobacterial Infections

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Enterobacterial infections can be produced by bacteria that normally live in the human digestive tract without causing serious disease, or by bacteria that enter from the outside. In many cases these infections are nosocomial, which means that they can be acquired in the hospital. Klebsiella and Proteus sometimes cause pneumonia, ear and sinus infections, and urinary tract infections. Enterobacter and Serratia often cause bacterial infection of the blood (bacteremia), particularly in patients with weakened immune systems.

Diarrhea caused by enterobacteria is a common problem in the United States. It is estimated that each person in the general population has an average of 1.5 episodes of diarrhea each year, with higher rates in children, institutionalized people, and Native Americans. This type of enterobacterial infection can range from a minor nuisance to a life-threatening disorder, especially in infants, elderly persons, AIDSpatients, and malnourished people. Enterobacterial infections are one of the two leading killers of children in developing countries.

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