Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Common germ leads to serious blood infections

03.05.2005


A new study finds that E. coli bacteremia — a potentially life-threatening bloodstream infection caused by a common bacteria also associated with less dangerous urinary tract infections — poses a significant public health threat in the United States, especially among seniors.



The study, published by Group Health researchers in the May issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases, finds E. coli bacteremia may affect as many as 53,000 non-institutionalized people, aged 65 and older, each year. It also suggests that a vaccine or other preventive intervention, targeted at high-risk groups, could have an important, positive impact on public health.

The bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli), which grows naturally in the human digestive tract, is a leading cause of urinary tract infections. Medical researchers have long known that E. coli is also a cause of bloodstream infection. But until this study, the number of non-institutionalized seniors affected by E. coli bacteremia has not been clear.


"E. coli is a less serious problem in the urinary tract, but if it spreads to the bloodstream it causes bacteremia, which can lead to a dangerous drop in blood pressure called septic shock," explained Lisa Jackson, MD, MPH, a senior investigator at Group Health’s Center for Health Studies and the lead author of the study. "Bacteremia is associated with a death rate of about 10 percent," Jackson added.

While there is a vaccine to protect seniors from pneumococcal bacteremia, which starts in the lungs, there is no similar vaccine to protect against E. coli bacteremia. "Our study finds E. coli bacteremia three times more common than the pneumococcal infection," said Jackson. "That suggests that development of a vaccine could save many lives."

While studies are underway at other institutions on a vaccine that would prevent bacteria from taking hold in the urinary tract, Jackson said she is not aware of any work currently underway to develop a vaccine specifically to prevent E. coli bacteremia.

Jackson’s study, conducted among 46,000 Group Health members, also identified risk factors for E. coli bacteremia. In men, they include urinary catheterization and incontinence. In women, risk factors are linked to incontinence, congestive heart failure, and coronary artery disease.

Certain health behaviors can help prevent urinary tract infections, and, by association, may also help reduce the risk of bacteremia. Information on these preventive measures is available online from the National Institutes of Health.

About Group Health and its Center for Health Studies

Group Health is a consumer-governed, nonprofit health care system that coordinates care and coverage. Based in Seattle, Group Health and Group Health Options, Inc. serve nearly 550,000 members in Washington and Idaho. Group Health’s Center for Health Studies conducts research related to prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of major health problems. The Center for Health Studies is funded primarily through government and private research grants.

Joan DeClaire | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ghc.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Closing the carbon loop

08.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Applicability of dynamic facilitation theory to binary hard disk systems

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>