Common causes of enterococcus infection include patients being infected by hospital workers or others who have not practiced good hygiene such as hand-washing, says the National Institutes of Health. A patient can also become infected when the bacteria enter the bloodstream from the gut after a surgical procedure. Enterococcus bacteria occur naturally in the human body.
Diseases that are caused by an enterococcus infection include urinary tract infections, endocarditis, meningitis and bacteremia, notes Phage Therapy Center. Diverticulitis, a disease of the bowel, can also be caused by enterococcus infection.
Though some strains of enterococcus are defeated with courses of vancomycin or ampicillin, the bacteria is notorious for being resistant to antibiotics, claims Phage Therapy Center. Unfortunately, enterococcus infection is a great risk for patients whose immune systems are already compromised.
There are two major strains of enterococcus bacteria, states Phage Therapy Center. They are Enterococcus faecium and Enterococcus faecalis. As their names imply, they are found in the digestive tract of humans. Their resistance to antibiotics such as vancomycin makes them a great hazard for hospitalized patients around the world. Moreover, Enterococcus faecalis is not only resistant to cephalosporins, but people who have taken cephalosporins are at greater risk for enterococcus faecalis infection. Cephalosporins are antibiotics derived from a mold called Cephalosporium, says Drugs.com.