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Escherichia coli bacteraemia

Published on 09 April 2024

Escherichia coli (E. coli) is currently the most common cause of bacteraemia in Scotland. It’s a bacterium that forms part of the normal gut flora and helps human digestion.

Although most types of E. coli live harmlessly in the gut, some types can cause illness. When it gets into the blood stream E. coli can cause a bacteraemia. This can be the result of an infection in the urinary tract or caused by surgery or inappropriate use of medical devices.

ARHAI coordinate the national mandatory surveillance programme which collects data from all E. coli blood stream infections to provide local and national intelligence.


Quarterly epidemiological data commentaries

Read the latest commentary on quarterly epidemiological data in Scotland:

Quarterly epidemiological data on Clostridioides difficile infection, Escherichia coli bacteraemia, Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia and Surgical Site Infection in Scotland. October to December (Q4) 2023.

View all previous quarterly epidemiological commentaries.

View the Open Data for this report.

Annual surveillance of healthcare associated infection reports

Read the latest Healthcare Associated Infection annual report below:

Healthcare Associated Infection Annual Report 2022.

View all previous annual surveillance of healthcare associated infection reports.

Annual antimicrobial use and resistance in humans reports

Read the latest Antimicrobial Use and Resistance in Humans report:

Scottish One Health Antimicrobial Use and Antimicrobial Resistance in 2022.

View all previous annual antimicrobial use and resistance in humans reports.


Read our enhanced bacteraemia surveillance protocol.

Infection prevention and control

For infection prevention and control guidance visit the A-Z pathogens section of the National Infection and Prevention Control Manual.