Enterococcus: symptoms and treatment
Enterococci are gram-positive cocci that belong to the subclass of lactobacilli. Usually, microorganisms of this kind are placed either in pairs or in short chains. Previously, these bacterial agents were referred to streptococci, but in 1984 scientists decided to make them a separate series. To date, 15 types of enterococci are known in medicine.
It is noteworthy that these microorganisms belong to a conditionally pathogenic microflora. This suggests that they live in the body of both men and women. But in order for them to show their pathogenic qualities, favorable conditions are necessary (for example, a decrease in the reactivity of the organism).
There are 2 types of enterococci in the intestine of a person:
- fecal enterococci
- Enterococcus fecium.
Enterococcus fecal or fecium are species that form part of the normal gastrointestinal microflora. It is also worth noting the fact that this opportunistic microorganism even plays an important role in ensuring the protective properties of the intestinal mucosa. But this is only if there are no conditions for its degeneration into an infection (diseases, reduction of sensitization and reactivity of the organism).
Enterococci can trigger the progression of such diseases:
- Urinary system infections. It is worth noting that often enterococci provoke the progression of such ailments in infants and in women about pregnancy,
- bacterial endocarditis;
- food poisoning;
- Dysbacteriosis. It is more often diagnosed in a child than in an adult;
- bacteremia. In this case, the microorganism is in urine, but there are no signs of infection in humans.
Usually, these infectious agents are found in women, men and children either in the genitourinary organs (which explains the presence of enterococci in the urine) or in the oral cavity.
Causes and ways of infection:
- Infection of the baby occurs in the maternity hospital when it is applied to the mother’s breast
- Infection of a child or adult can also occur in any medical institution
- injuries, cuts and bruises of any severity. This often becomes a cause of infection of the child, as it is children who are more prone to injury;
- Disruption of normal intestinal microflora
- metabolic disorder
- weakening of the body’s reactivity
More often pathogenic activity of fecal enterococcus leads to the development of various inflammatory processes in the urogenital system. More men are susceptible to this, but the progression of the pathology in the child or in women is not excluded.
Symptoms of a man’s genitourinary system:
- the appearance of urine changes;
- During the emission of urine there is a sharp pain in the urethra area
- White-green discharge appears from the urethra
- erased orgasm
- urge to urinate more frequent
- difficulty during urine output
- decreased potency;
- increased fatigue.
At the first stages of the progression of the disease, most men do not even notice any visible symptoms. Usually, the presence of an elevated titre of opportunistic microflora is observed during a routine examination. Enterococcus can be detected in the smear, urine analysis, excreta.
Enterococcus during pregnancy
In pregnancy in women in urine, this microorganism is often detected. Its presence is a confirmation that the organs of the urinary system have inflammatory processes that require urgent treatment.
In the body of a woman during pregnancy, all conditions for stagnation of urine and the further development of pathogenic microflora are created. In the emergence of bacteriuria in pregnancy, an important role is played by the violation of the hormonal background, a decrease in the reactivity of the organism.
Therefore, the pathogenic flora during this period may become more active. Medical statistics are such that in women during pregnancy fecal enterococcus is detected 5 times more often than in men or women «not in position.»
Enterococcus in infants
The baby in the first months of life is constantly under the dynamic supervision of a pediatrician. This is a necessary measure so that the doctor can assess the general condition of the child’s body. Sometimes the infants in the feces can be found increased content of enterococci. This already indicates that in his body pathogenic processes are developing that require treatment.
The mother can also infect these microorganisms during breastfeeding. In this case, it is necessary to deliver the milk to the laboratory for a thorough examination. But until the test results come, the baby should not be breastfed.
Symptoms of infection in infants:
- highlight stinking feces;
- the child becomes whiny, may refuse to eat.
It is possible to detect the presence of an increased titer of bacteria only by conducting a thorough laboratory diagnosis. There is a fence of excrement, urine, blood. To identify the pathogen, the material is sown to nutrient media, after which pathogenic strains can be detected after a while.
The treatment plan is appointed by the doctor only after receiving the results of the tests. It is worth noting that the therapy in infants and adults is somewhat different. So, when treating a small child, doctors do not resort to the use of antibacterial drugs because the baby’s immune system is not completely formed yet. Therefore, the main emphasis is on the use of bacteriophages. Also, antibiotics should be avoided during pregnancy.
The adult treatment plan includes:
- antibacterial agents
- vitamin-mineral complexes
- topical preparations: suppositories, ointments and gels