What Is Enterococcus Faecalis?

There are so many different types of bacteria around the world that it can be hard to keep track of them all! And with some of them having similar names, it can be tricky to differentiate between them.

Enterococci is just one name for several bacteria across the same genus, and they are typically found within your gastrointestinal tract.

But what about Enterococcus faecalis? What is Enterococcus faecalis and how does this differ from other enterococci bacteria?

What Is Enterococcus Faecalis?

Today, we’re going to cover everything that you need to know about Enterococcus faecalis bacteria.

We’re going to cover what it is exactly, how you can get infected with Enterococcus faecalis bacteria, what symptoms are typically associated with this bacteria, and how you can treat an infection.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about Enterococcus faecalis bacteria!

What Is Enterococcus Faecalis?

The Enterococcus faecalis bacteria is something that typically lives in your intestines. Usually this does so without causing harm or benefit to the host.

However, it is possible for the Enterococcus faecalis bacteria to spread to other areas of your body, which can then cause infections which can become serious, and sometimes even prove fatal.

Enterococcus faecalis bacteria is typically a highly resistant bacteria that can withstand great amounts of heat.

It can thrive even in acidic or salty environments, and has slowly grown a reputation for being resistant to certain types of antibiotics.

This bacteria won’t normally cause health issues for those who are healthy. If you were to have a weakened immune system it can become deadly, and is often spread easily in hospital environments.

How Can You Get An Enterococcus Faecalis Infection?

As with most types of bacteria, Enterococcus faecalis bacteria can be spread through poor sanitation and hygiene.

It is present in feces, so can easily spread if you don’t wash your hands properly after you’ve been to the toilet. 

It can also live on surfaces that your dirty hands have touched such as door handles and other surfaces where food is prepared. Because of this, it can spread quite easily between people, particularly in busy areas.

One of the most common areas where Enterococcus faecalis bacteria spread is in hospitals.

If health workers don’t wash their hands as often as possible, if a catheter hasn’t been cleaned properly, or other types of medical devices, this can then infect other patients with Enterococcus faecalis bacteria.

What Are The Symptoms Of An Enterococcus Faecalis Infection?

There are several symptoms that can display an Enterococcus faecalis bacteria infection. This is because it is often associated with certain types of infection, including meningitis, urinary tract infections, bacteremia, periodontitis, and endocarditis.

Some of the most common symptoms associated with Enterococcus faecalis bacteria include headaches, fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, fatigue, diarrhea, pain when you pass urine, chest pain every time you try to breathe, shortness of breath, as well as tender, red, swollen, or bleeding gums.

Each of these symptoms are highly unpleasant, and will likely vary depending on the type of infection that the Enterococcus faecalis bacteria has caused.

How Can You Treat Enterococcus Faecalis Infection?

Because Enterococcus faecalis bacteria has slowly become resistant to the vast majority of antibiotics over the years, it is incredibly important to get early diagnosis.

There are still some antibiotics which might work against the Enterococcus faecalis bacteria, but your doctor will need to clarify this is what you have been infected with so that they can prescribe the right medication for your needs.

Depending on what infections you have thanks to the Enterococcus faecalis bacteria, your doctor may even prescribe a mixture of certain medications to try and treat your symptoms.

This often happens for patients that suffer from meningitis or endocarditis.

In order to prevent a Enterococcus faecalis bacteria infection, you will need to wash your hands at regular intervals throughout the day, using soap and warm water.

You will need to wash your hands every time after you go to the toilet.

In Summary

So there you have it! You now know that Enterococcus faecalis is a type of bacteria that can be found in the gastrointestinal tract.

It is just one of the many bacteria that live under the umbrella term enterococci, but can often be one of the most deadly if you have been infected with it.

Enterococcus faecalis bacteria often spreads easily in hospitals, or in environments where people haven’t washed their hands properly after going to the toilet.

Hygiene is important to prevent infecting yourself or others with this often deadly bacteria.

Jennifer Dawkins

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