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Lung diseases

E. coli in the Lung

05/31/2011

Question:

my husband is a double lung receiptant since nov 2010, during his last bronch- a culture showed he had a bacteria infection which turned out to be e coli. He is a patient at mayo and they are treating with using a nebulizer using tobi 300 mg and doxycycline 100 mg twice daily for 3 weeks. how do people get in this is the lungs?

Answer:

This is a slightly difficult question to answer, as there are many ways one might get an E. coli infection in the lungs.  It is impossible to tell exactly how someone got this infection, however, without seeing the patient directly.

Anyone who is predisposed to lung infections might be at risk for getting a lung infection with E. coli. Such people would include those who are immunosuppressed or have lowered immune systems (and that would include lung transplant recipients); those with abnormal lungs (from surgery, previous lung damage from smoking, etc.); and those with devices in place (things like tracheostomy tubes, people who are intubated and on a ventilator, etc.). In some instances, people with E. coli infections elsewhere in the body can send infection to the lung via the bloodstream, and this can lead to a pneumonia (or lung infection). 

In general, these infections require treatment quickly to prevent worsening or spread of the infection.
 

Related Resources:

How Do You Get E. coli in the Lungs?

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Response by:

John A Davis, PhD, MD
Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine
Associate Dean for Medical Education
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University