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J Clin Microbiol. 2011 Mar;49(3):777-83. doi: 10.1128/JCM.01902-10. Epub 2010 Dec 22.

Host factors and portal of entry outweigh bacterial determinants to predict the severity of Escherichia coli bacteremia.

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AP-HP, Hôpital Beaujon, Service de Médecine Interne, 92110 Clichy Cedex, France.


Escherichia coli ranks among the organisms most frequently isolated from cases of bacteremia. The relative contribution of the host and bacteria to E. coli bacteremia severity remains unknown. We conducted a prospective multicenter cohort study to identify host and bacterial factors associated with E. coli bacteremia severity. The primary endpoint was in-hospital death, up to 28 days after the first positive blood culture. Among 1,051 patients included, 136 (12.9%) died. Overall, 604 (57.5%) patients were female. The median age was 70 years, and 202 (19.2%) episodes were nosocomial. The most frequent comorbidities were immunocompromised status (37.9%), tobacco addiction (21.5%), and diabetes mellitus (20.1%). The most common portal of entry was the urinary tract (56.9%). Most E. coli isolates belonged to phylogenetic group B2 (52.0%). The multivariate analysis retained the following factors as predictive of death: older age (odds ratio [OR] = 1.25 [95% confidence interval {CI}, 1.09 to 1.43] for each 10-year increment), cirrhosis (OR = 4.85 [95% CI, 2.49 to 9.45]), hospitalization before bacteremia (OR = 4.13 [95% CI, 2.49 to 6.82]), being an immunocompromised patient not hospitalized before bacteremia (OR = 3.73 [95% CI, 2.25 to 6.18]), and a cutaneous portal of entry (OR = 6.45 [95% CI, 1.68 to 24.79]); a urinary tract portal of entry and the presence of the ireA virulence gene were negatively correlated with death (OR = 0.46 [95% CI, 0.30 to 0.70] and OR = 0.53 [95% CI, 0.30 to 0.91], respectively). In summary, host factors and the portal of entry outweigh bacterial determinants for predicting E. coli bacteremia severity.

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