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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What does a urine culture report showing positive for Enterobacter Aerogenes with value greater than 100,000 indicate?

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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3047 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 3 Aug 2018 in Infections
Question: I was in the ER before thanksgiving with a kidney infection. Two years prior to this I had a UTI that went septic and I was in a coma for 4 days. THey sent me home with an antiobiotic and I am still feeling the same. So finally they did another urine culture and it tested positive for Enterobacter Aerogenes greater than 100,000. What does this mean and am I overreacting to the situation. I am concerned
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 49 minutes later
Brief Answer:
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Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

Enterobacter can cause UTIs and it can cause bacteremia too. It's possible that the antibiotic they gave you in November was only partially effective if you never felt that you got over that infection. "Greater than 100,000" means you do have a UTI but if you don't have flank pain or fever, it is likely to be staying in your bladder.

When a person comes in to a doctor complaining of urinary tract type symptoms, the following should be done:
First a urine dipstick. This is a crude test but it gives information immediately regarding signs of infection (leukocyte esterase, nitrites), blood, and uncontrolled diabetes (sugar, ketones) and kidney problems (protein).

If that test looks suspicious for a bladder or kidney infection, then the urine sample should be sent for a full culture and very importantly a sensitivity test.

The sensitivity test checks different antibiotics against the bacteria that grew in the culture. The antibiotics are rated as "sensitive" (it killed the bacteria), "resistant" (it didn't work), and "intermediate" or "partially sensitive/resistant" (it works but not fully). If an antibiotic is intermediate, it may temporarily kill most of the bacteria but if it leaves some, they will start to grow back and reestablish an infection.

What I strongly recommend you do is call the clinic or doctor's office that you went to and ask for the results of the sensitivity test. Or ask them how Bactrim (trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole) was rated. On a urine sensitivity study they almost always will test with trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole.

If Bactrim is rated as resistant or intermediate/partial sensitivity, then ask which antibiotics do work on it.

In the meantime, watch for flank pain or fever and if you develop either then do go in to the ER as you will need something other than the Bactrim.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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