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E-Coli Present in Large #'s–no infection???

Just had a urine culture done and the fellow was surprised I could have so much
e-coli in the specimen, with no infection present. I was being evaluated for
cystitis. It was a clean catch, with a stop and start preparatory void, and a
mid stream sample 3 hours latter with the area well scrubbed. Someone had
mentioned it’s possible for the e-coli, to mask another pathogen, that would
show after the e-coli is taken care off. Another culture is being done after.

Would e-coli still cause symptoms, with no infection present? Levaquin taken
for 10 days didn’t knock it out in June. Going to try Cipro.

I had read where an e-coli infection in the digestive track resolves in about
5-10 days by itself. Is it possible for e-coli to live in the bladder or
urethra for months, or is it constant reinfection do you think?

Would welcome any thoughts on this. Please also e-mail if you can! Thanks ; ).

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posted by admin in Uncategorized and have Comment (1)

One Response to “E-Coli Present in Large #'s–no infection???”

  1. admin says:

    It’s fairly common for females to have asymptomatic infections. Males can have E.
    coli live in the prostate where it is sometimes difficult to eradicate.  When you
    say "no infection present" what does this mean?  No WBC’s in the urinalysis?
    Nitrate negative?  Did the specimen sit out before plating?  Gram negative rods can
    divide in a standing urine every 20 minutes.  Was the specimen refrigerated upon
    collection and until plating?  There are a lot of variables that are not mentioned
    in your posting.  What do you mean by "masking another pathogen?"  E. coli IS a
    pathogen of the urinary tract – in fact the most common one isolated.  Was a
    susceptibility done?  Is this bug sensitive to Cipro or is this just a shot in the
    dark?  Who did the culture?  The doctor’s office?  A certified micro lab?  I cringe
    to tell you what I saw in a urologist’s office years ago that masqueraded for a
    culture.  Office personnel were dipping swabs directly into urine cups (that I
    assume the doc had screened microscopically and had wbc’s and other evidence of
    infection),  and plating these on small Mueller Hinton plates and dropping discs on
    them, which is NOT the way to do it.  It was all I could do to keep my mouth shut.
    Whoever is doing the culture should be plating the urine with a calibrated loop,
    preferably 0.001 microliter, and then counting colonies.  Some labs also plate
    urines from females of child-bearing age with a 0.01 microliter loop to find low
    bacterial count infections.

    E. coli in the digestive tract is another strain of E. coli; E. coli O157:H7..  It
    is treated much differently.  There are many strains of E. coli that can infect the
    urinary tract.  Women can reinfect themselves easily.  E. coli can live on the
    introitus to the vagina.  Sometimes in repeated infections, docs treat the male
    partner also.  Hope this information has helped.

    Judy Dilworth, M.T. (ASCP)
    Microbiology

    - Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -

    EMODA wrote:
    > Just had a urine culture done and the fellow was surprised I could have so much
    > e-coli in the specimen, with no infection present. I was being evaluated for
    > cystitis. It was a clean catch, with a stop and start preparatory void, and a
    > mid stream sample 3 hours latter with the area well scrubbed. Someone had
    > mentioned it’s possible for the e-coli, to mask another pathogen, that would
    > show after the e-coli is taken care off. Another culture is being done after.

    > Would e-coli still cause symptoms, with no infection present? Levaquin taken
    > for 10 days didn’t knock it out in June. Going to try Cipro.

    > I had read where an e-coli infection in the digestive track resolves in about
    > 5-10 days by itself. Is it possible for e-coli to live in the bladder or
    > urethra for months, or is it constant reinfection do you think?

    > Would welcome any thoughts on this. Please also e-mail if you can! Thanks ; ).