What are multi-resistant gram negative bacteria (MRGNB)?
Bacteria or germs are found on everybody. They live on our skin or inside our bodies. More often than not they do not cause any harm. Gram negative bacteria are germs that are often found living naturally within the human digestive system (gut). Multi-resistant bacteria are germs that no longer respond to antibiotics people may have been treated with in the past.
MRGNB is a term covering many different bacteria including Escherichia coli (E-coli). Often when E-coli has become resistant to antibiotics it is called an Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase which is shortened to ESBL.
Who is affected by MRGNB?
These bacteria are most common in people who have had lots of courses of antibiotic treatment and those who have poor immune systems.
The bacteria can be found in different areas of the body without causing illness – this is called colonisation and doesn’t usually need any treatment.
How are MRGNB spread?
MRGNB can be spread by direct contact, for instance touching a person who is already carrying the bacteria or by touching contaminated objects or environments. They can also be spread from one part of your body to another.
Can MRGNB cause infections?
MRGNB most commonly cause urine infections. They can also cause chest and wound infections including pneumonia and blood poisoning (septicaemia).
Can these infections be treated?
People who are colonised with MRGNB do not usually need any antibiotic treatment. In most cases the bacteria will disappear over time. Even though MRGNB are resistant to many antibiotics, there are still treatment options available if the MRGNB is causing an infection. Your doctor or physical health nurse practitioner will assess if treatment is required.
How can the spread of MRGNB to other people be prevented?
The prevention of spread of MRGNB can be achieved by practicing good hand hygiene. This includes patients, healthcare staff and visitors. It is especially important to wash your hands after you’ve used the toilet and before eating meals. Hands should also be washed after touching wounds and any medical devices such as urinary catheters.
In hospitals extra precautions will be taken to avoid spreading infections such as staff wearing gloves and aprons while assisting patients who have MRGNB with any personal care or bed making. The patients’ room will also be cleaned every day and any medical equipment used on more than one patient will be cleaned in between each patient use.
Will I still be able to leave the ward?
Outside leave should still be able to take place as planned.
Will having an MRGNB affect my discharge from hospital?
Having MRGNB will not delay your discharge home. Once at home, normal bathing or showering and household cleaning is all that is needed and there are no restrictions to activities or your friends and family. If you become unwell or develop a fever or wound infection please contact your GP as usual.
L1004, V2, 19/05/2021 (Archive: 19/05/2024)