What are the clinical presentations for lower respiratory tract Enterobacter infections?

Updated: Jun 18, 2019
  • Author: Susan L Fraser, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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The clinical presentations caused by Enterobacter lower respiratory tract infections include asymptomatic colonization, tracheobronchitis, pneumonia, lung abscess, and empyema.

As with other respiratory pathogens, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes mellitus, alcohol abuse, malignancy, and neurologic diseases are risk factors for the acquisition of lower respiratory tract infections.

Prior antimicrobial therapy may predispose to Enterobacter pneumonia.

Enterobacter species are a significant cause of ventilator-associated pneumonia.

Enterobacter species are major pathogens in early post–lung transplant pneumonia. In most cases, the bacteria are transmitted from the donor.

Symptoms of Enterobacter pneumonia are not specific to these bacteria. Fever, cough, production of purulent sputum, tachypnea, and tachycardia are usually present.

As with infections caused by organisms such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, many Enterobacter infections in elderly debilitated patients do not cause a systemic inflammatory reaction. However, this clinical presentation is by no means benign, and the associated mortality rate is particularly high in this population.

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