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Escherichia coli bacteraemia

Published on 31 May 2021

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.