Multiresistant Escherichia coli in aged care: the gathering storm

Timothy J J Inglis and Christopher D Beer
Med J Aust 2011; 195 (9): . || doi: 10.5694/mja11.11202
Published online: 7 November 2011

The growing infection control challenges facing an ageing population

In this issue of the Journal, a study of multiresistant bacterial intestinal carriage by Stuart and colleagues adds important detail to the emerging picture of multiple antibiotic resistance in non-hospital settings.1 The higher colonisation rate they found for Escherichia coli than for vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) or Clostridium difficile in residential aged care facilities is a timely reminder that our surveillance and infection control resources should not be exclusively targeted at VRE or C. difficile. The simultaneous presence of these potential pathogens in the same aged care population raises the ugly spectre of carriage of two or more resistant organisms. The risk of contemporaneous multiresistant E. coli, C. difficile-associated diarrhoea and faecal incontinence might be considered the perfect infection control storm.

  • Timothy J J Inglis1
  • Christopher D Beer2

  • 1 Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, PathWest Laboratory Medicine WA, Perth, WA.
  • 2 Western Australian Centre for Health and Ageing, University of Western Australia, Perth, WA.


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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