Enterobacter Infections Follow-up

Updated: Jun 02, 2022
  • Author: Susan L Fraser, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Inpatient & Outpatient Medications

Enterobacter infections that are improving may warrant switch from an intravenous regimen to an oral medication such as a quinolone or TMP-SMZ in accordance with sensitivity testing, when feasible. Ciprofloxacin (500-750 mg PO q12h if renal function is normal) is an acceptable alternative in patients who are able to tolerate oral medication as long as they are not coadministered products that contain divalent cations (calcium or dairy products, iron, magnesium, zinc). There are no specific guidelines for the treatment of endocarditis caused by enteric gram-negative bacilli. The AHA recommends involvement of an infectious diseases specialist, cardiothoracic surgeon, as well as consideration for combination antibiotic therapy ideally using antibiotics from two different classes. 

Some patients with Enterobacter infections may require longer therapy with intravenous antibiotics. In those who meet criteria for home antibiotic therapy, the selected intravenous medication should not usually require more than 3-times-daily infusion. Ertapenem and tigecycline may be considered for such patients in conjunction with antimicrobial susceptibility testing results, infectious disease specialists and home infusion therapy experts. Close monitoring while on antibiotics and after stopping antibiotics is essential.



When hospital (ICU) outbreaks of Enterobacter infections occur, isolation and barrier protection should be implemented. Isolation precautions should also be implemented when a multidrug-resistant organism is isolated.

Hand washing or use of alcohol or other disinfecting hand gels by health care workers between contacts with patients prevents transmission of these and other nosocomial bacteria. This is particularly true in ICUs.

Prior antibiotic administration is a major factor for colonization and secondary infections with these multiple-antibiotic–resistant organisms. Clinicians are advised to avoid unnecessary administration of antimicrobial agents or to avoid unnecessary prolonged administration. For surgical prophylaxis, administration of antibiotics for longer than 24 hours is rarely justifiable.

Education programs for physicians and hospital personnel regarding risk reduction for transmission of Enterobacter species and other nosocomial pathogens should be implemented in every hospital. This is usually the responsibility of the Infection Prevention and Control team.

Comprehensive guidelines regarding isolation for and prevention of nosocomial infections and management of infections by multidrug-resistant organisms (eg, ESBL-producing Enterobacter species) in health care settings are available at the Centers for Disease Control Web site (Guideline for Isolation Precautions: Preventing Transmission of Infectious Agents in Healthcare Settings 2007; Management of Multidrug-Resistant Organisms In Healthcare Settings, 2006).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has expanded its guidelines for preventing the spread of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE). Noting that most cases of CRE found in the United States have been isolated from patients who received overnight treatment in medical facilities outside the country, the new recommendations are as follows [71, 72] :

  • When a CRE is found in a patient who within the previous 6 months had stayed overnight in a non-US health-care facility, the isolate should undergo confirmatory susceptibility testing and the carbapenem resistance mechanism should be determined

  • Rectal screening cultures should be ordered for any patient admitted to a health-care facility in the United States after being hospitalized within the previous 6 months in another country; such patients should be placed on contact precautions until the results of the screenings are available.



See Mortality/Morbidity.