Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria normally live in the intestines of healthy people and animals. Most varieties of E. coli are harmless or cause relatively brief diarrhea. But a few particularly nasty strains, such as E. coli O157:H7, can cause severe abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting. Symptoms of intestinal infection include diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever. More severe cases can lead to bloody diarrhea, dehydration, or even kidney failure. People with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, young children, and older adults are at increased risk for developing these complications. Most intestinal infections are caused by contaminated food or water. Proper food preparation and good hygiene can greatly decrease your chances of developing an intestinal infection. If you develop symptoms of severe blood or kidney problems, such as anemia or kidney failure, your treatment may include: • Careful regulation of fluids and essential minerals. • Dialysis to filter waste products from your blood. Some people with kidney failure caused by E. coli infection require dialysis. • Blood transfusion to treat anemia by giving you additional oxygen-rich red blood cells.
EPEC is an important cause of childhood diarrhoea in tropical countries. ETEC causes 11-15% of cases of traveller’s diarrhoea in persons visiting developing countries and 30-45% of cases of traveller’s diarrhoea among those visiting Mexico. EAggEC causes 30% of cases of traveller’s diarrhoea. E coli neonatal meningitis carries a mortality rate of 8%, and most survivors have neurological or developmental abnormalities. The mortality and morbidity associated with E coli bacteremia is the same as that for other aerobic gram-negative bacilli. Race. E coli infections have no recognized racial predilection. Sex. E coli UTI is more common in females than in males because of differences in anatomic structure and changes during sexual maturation, pregnancy, and childbirth. Men older than 45 years with prostatic hypertrophy are at an increased risk of UTI due to related bladder stasis. Among neonates, E coli UTI is more common in boys than in girls, but circumcision reduces the risk. E coli is an important cause of neonatal meningitis. E coli meningitis in adults is due only to open CNS trauma or neurosurgical procedures. While fluid replacement and blood pressure support may be necessary to prevent death from dehydration, most victims recover without treatment in five to 10 days. There is no evidence that antibiotics improve the course of disease, and treatment with antibiotics may precipitate hemolytic uremic syndrome. Antidiarrheal agents such as loperamide (imodium), should also be avoided as they may prolong the duration of the infection. Certain novel treatment strategies, such as the use of anti-induction strategies to prevent toxin production and the use of anti-Shiga toxin antibodies, have also been proposed. Prescription diarrhoea medicines may be harmful when given to a person with E. coli infection.
Doctor will suggest one of these medicines if a patient does not know that E. coli caused the diarrhoea. Be sure to discuss your symptoms with your doctor. Sharing information is important to get the proper diagnosis of your condition. Avoid these medicines if you have E. coli infection: i. Difenoxin (Motofen) ii. Diphenoxylate (Lomotil) iii. Loperamide (Imodium) Nonprescription or prescription diarrhea medicines usually are not used to treat E. coli infection. Many antidiarrheal products slow the rate at which food and waste products move through the intestines. This may allow more time for the body to absorb the poisons produced by the bacteria, increasing the risk of complications such as severe blood and kidney problems.