An extended-spectrum beta-lactamase infection is an infection of the body by bacteria that release chemicals that break down certain types of antibiotics. These bacteria are therefore very resistant to treatment and are difficult to get rid of.
ESBL infections generally affect the urinary and intestinal tract but can also affect open wounds and blood. Symptoms include pain when urinating, discomfort in the abdomen, bloody stool, oozing of wounds and a high fever. This infection can be spread simply by touching an object that an infected person has touched. Some people who are infected by ESBL may not exhibit symptoms but can still pass the bacteria on to others. These subjects are said to be "colonized" by the germs.