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Infectious Diseases

E-coli

01/25/2006

Question:

I have a brother inlaw who works in a packing plant. He puts in 14 hours a day. He is diabetic and has had a kidney transplant. He was admitted to the hospital and diagonised with phenomoia and now they say he has e-colin in his lungs. Where did he get the e-coli? I realize this is a broad question but I am concerened. Thank You

Answer:

E coli is a commonly found organism in water and soil. In humans it colonizes the gastrointestinal tract. It can be found in meats as well as fresh vegetables. It is an uncommon cause of pneumonia unless the infection started somewhere else such as in the kidney or bladder. Fortunately, it is susceptible to many antibiotics. From the information you have given me it is impossible to ascribe a link between his work and his job. Certainly with a kidney transplant he is more susceptible to many types of infection.  

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Response by:

George S Deepe, Jr, MD George S Deepe, Jr, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
Director of Infectious Diseases
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati