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Risks of extended-spectrum beta-lactamases

Abstract

Extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs) are an increasingly important cause of multi-drug resistant infections throughout the world.1,2 Bacteria carrying such enzymes have long been recognised as a cause of healthcare-associated infection.3 However, of concern, the incidence of such organisms also appears to be increasing in the community, typically as a cause of urinary tract infection.1,4 Infections due to ESBL-producing organisms can pose a major threat to life; are often difficult and expensive to treat; and can delay discharge from hospital.58 Here we discuss the bacteria that produce ESBLs and treatment of patients who are infected with such organisms.

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