Survey ofEscherichia coli septicemia over a six-year period

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Escherichia coli was the most frequent species isolated from blood cultures in the Hospital Covadonga of Oviedo (Spain) over a six-year period (474 episodes, 15.3 % of the total septicemias and 2.7 episodes per 1,000 patients).Escherichia coli strains were susceptible in >95 % of episodes to cefoxitin, cefotaxime, gentamicin, tobramicin and amikacin. In a series of 72 episodes, microbiological features and host factors were studied. No endemic strains were found. Type 1 fimbria was detected in 73.6% of strains and P-fimbriae in 12.5 %, without correlation between P-fimbria and urinary infection; 84.7 % of the strains were resistant to decomplement human serum; 61.1 % produced aerobactin and 20.8 % were hemolytic. Factors such as age, hospital location, metastatic focus and surgical treatment were significantly correlated with morbidity and mortality. The global mortality rate was 18 %, and in 8.3 % of cases was directly associated with septicemia.