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Eur J Intern Med. 2006 May;17(3):185-8.

Enterobacter sakazakii in the mouths of stroke patients and its association with aspiration pneumonia.

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1
Elderly Care Medicine, The University of Reading, Institute of Health Sciences, London Road, Reading, Berkshire RG1 5AQ, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Previous studies by our group have identified a high prevalence of Gram-negative bacilli in the mouths of stroke patients. Eradication of such organisms by selective decontamination of the digestive tract (SDD) has not previously been studied. Enterobacter sakazakii is a rarely found organism that has previously been identified as a cause of neonatal meningitis and sepsis but that has rarely been reported as a pathogen in older people. The purpose of this study was to look specifically for E. sakazakii in the mouths of stroke patients and to correlate its isolation with response to SDD gel and the presence of clinical complications such as pneumonia.

METHODS:

Following an acute stroke, 203 patients were recruited for the study and received placebo or SDD in a 50:50 ratio. Oral swabs were obtained on nine separate occasions and E. sakazakii was cultured from them. Clinical data were prospectively collected and analysed.

RESULTS:

E. sakazakii was identified in 7 of 203 patients. The organism was almost exclusively removed by SDD gel, but in those patients in whom an abnormal swallow was present, pneumonia was found in two of the four cases.

CONCLUSION:

E. sakazakii may colonise the mouths of acute stroke patients. Since SDD gel is not routinely administered to such patients, this organism may be implicated in patients who subsequently develop aspiration pneumonia.

PMID:
16618451
DOI:
10.1016/j.ejim.2005.11.010

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