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Lung diseases

E. coli in the lungs

02/05/2007

Question:

How do you get an e-coli infection in the lungs with a patient who is NPO, feeding through the g-tube.

Answer:

E. coli is a gram negative bacterium that is usually associated with genitourinary and gastrointestinal infections.  It can also cause pneumonias.

E. coli or other bacteria can colonize, grow on but not cause disease, the upper airway including the nose, sinuses, and mouth.  If one aspirates, secretions containing these organisms may go into the lower airway, and if they are completely cleared, they will cause pneumonia or other respiratory infection.

 

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Response by:

Ralph   Panos, MD Ralph Panos, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati