ESBL - Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase producing microorganisms

ESBL - Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase producing microorganisms


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General Information

Gram negative organisms with enzymes that confer resistance to 3rd generation cephalosporins in addition to lower order beta-lactams (i.e. penicillins, amoxicillin, 1st and 2nd generation cephalosporins).

Generally, normal GI flora that have a plasmid encoding ESBL.

Community-acquired and nosocomial infections occur, especially if patient has received antimicrobials or has travelled to areas of high prevalence (i.e. Asia/India).

Human-to-human transmission occurs and outbreaks have been described.

Can also pick up from environment/water, surfaces, animals, and meat.

  • Asymptomatic colonization
  • Any syndrome caused by the organism carrying it (see specific organism for more information)

ESBLs vs. AmpC: Most ESBLs are plasmid-encoded, whereas AmpCs are usually inducible and chromosomal.

In the lab, ESBLs test susceptible to cefoxitin and cefotetan, and are inhibited by beta-lactamse inhibitors such as tazobactam.