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Growth of Enterobacter aerogenes in nasal cavity. No contact with patients. How did I get infection?

I work in a hospital (non-medical employee) and have been diagnoised with two respiratory infections in the last month. I received notice today that I have a moderate growth of Enterobacter aerogenes in my nasal cavity . Can you explain how I could contract this because I have no direct contact with patients, and what are the long term side effects.
Asked On : Sun, 3 Mar 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  1187
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ENT Specialist 's  Response

Thank you for your query.

1. Enterobacter aerogenes is an opportunistic nosocomial infection.

2. Your infection is hospital acquired due to a breakdown of sterility, barrier and hygiene procedures at your work place or the development of antibiotic resistance. Of course these organism are notorious for spread as hospital acquired infections in spite of the best care.

3. Enterobacter aerogenes rarely causes clinical infection in healthy people. It may be the cause of your respiratory infections or may have taken advantage of lowered immunity due to these infections.

4. The best way is to check the antibiotic sensitivity of this strain and try to clear it. There is a very high incidence of antibiotic resistance in nosocomial pathogens. You will require the help of an infectious disease expert to decide the exact combination and duration of antibiotics. You may repeat a culture thereafter.

5. Another important point is the possibility of this Enterobacter strain being a lab contaminant where your nasal swab was tested.

6. There should be no long term side effects of this positive swab in your case.

Answered: Sun, 3 Mar 2013
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