Enterobacter cloacae is the most common Enterobacter species that can cause diseases in humans. This bacteria is widely distributed in water, sewage and soil, and in the feces of healthy persons. They are opportunistic pathogens and cause infections of wounds, the urinary tract and the respiratory tract. They can occasionally cause blood and brain infections, especially in immunocompromised individuals. Antibiotics are the mainstay of treatment for this infection. The goal of therapy is to eradicate the infection and to prevent complications.
According to the John Hopkins Point of Care Information Technology Center, Enterobacter cloacae has a tendency to develop resistance during the course of the treatment and hence, at least two antibiotics should be prescribed simultaneously for serious infections. The antibiotics are chosen based on tests that show which strain is responsible for infection. Commonly used antibiotics include piperacillin-tazobactam, aminoglycosides such as gentamycin and fluoroquinolones such as ciprofloxacin.
For serious infections, antibiotics should be administered intravenously every six to eight hours until fever subsides, after which the drugs may be given orally. For mild infections, oral administration every six to eight hours for 14 days can help cure the infection.
The John Hopkins Point of Care Information Center recommends removal of instruments such as catheters, IV lines or endotracheal tubes if they are infected and are suspected to be the cause of the infection or if they have become infected. Other invasive procedures include drainage of abscesses and removal of the infected tissues. The criteria for a surgical procedure include the severity of the infection and the size of the area to be operated upon.
Intravenous (IV) Therapy
Enterobacter cloacae infections, especially those of the the bloodstream can lead to low blood pressure and shock. Intravenous (IV) fluids like saline, which is sodium chloride at 0.9 percent concentration, are given to such patients using an intravenous drip and an IV access device like a hypodermic needle or thin tube into a blood vessel. Antibiotics may also be administered intravenously as a more effective means of delivering the medication.