Descriptive epidemiology of Escherichia coli bacteraemia in England, april 2012 to march 2014

S. Bou-Antoun, John Davies*, R. Guy, Alan Johnson, E. A. Sheridan, Russell Hope

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


We determined the incidence, risk factors and antimicrobial susceptibility associated with Escherichia coli bacteraemia in England over a 24 month period. Case data were obtained from the national mandatory surveillance database, with susceptibility data linked from LabBase2, a voluntary national microbiology database. Between April 2012 and March 2014, 66,512 E. coli bacteraemia cases were reported. Disease incidence increased by 6% from 60.4 per 100,000 population in 2012-13 to 63.5 per 100,000 population in 2013-14 (p < 0.0001). Rates of E. coli bacteraemia varied with patient age and sex, with 70.5% (46,883/66,512) of cases seen in patients aged ≥ 65 years and 52.4% (33,969/64,846) of cases in females. The most common underlying cause of bacteraemia was infection of the genital/urinary tract (41.1%; 27,328/66,512), of which 98.4% (26,891/27,328) were urinary tract infections (UTIs). The majority of cases (76.1%; 50,617/66,512) had positive blood cultures before or within two days of admission and were classified as community onset cases, however 15.7% (10,468/66,512) occurred in patients who had been hospitalised for over a week. Non-susceptibility to ciprofloxacin, third-generation cephalosporins, piperacillin-tazobactam, gentamicin and carbapenems were 18.4% (8,439/45,829), 10.4% (4,256/40,734), 10.2% (4,694/46,186), 9.7% (4,770/49,114) and 0.2% (91/42,986), respectively. Antibiotic non-susceptibility was higher in hospital-onset cases than for those presenting from the community (e.g. ciprofloxacin non-susceptibility was 22.1% (2,234/10,105) for hospital-onset vs 17.4% (5,920/34,069) for communityonset cases). Interventions to reduce the incidence of E. coli bacteraemia will have to target the community setting and UTIs if substantial reductions are to be realised.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number35
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2016

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© 2016 European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). All rights reserved.


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