Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria are frequently found in the intestines of humans and animals. There are many different types of E. coli, and while some live in the intestine quite harmlessly, others may cause a variety of diseases.
The bacterium is found in faeces and can survive in the environment. E. coli bacteria can cause a range of infections including urinary tract infection, cystitis (infection of the bladder), and intestinal infection. E. coli bacteraemia (blood stream infection) may be caused by primary infections spreading to the blood.
Enhanced surveillance of E. coli bacteraemia has been mandatory for NHS acute trusts since June 2011. Patient data of any E. coli bacteraemias are reported monthly to UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). Independent sector healthcare organisations providing regulated activities have also undertaken surveillance of E. coli bacteraemia since June 2011.
The government launched an initiative in April 2017, to reduce Gram-negative infections by 50% by 2021. Read NHS Improvement’s plans to reduce these infections.
In response to this, some of our mandatory surveillance publications will change from October 2017. See Gram-negative bacteraemia infections updates on the HCAI Data Capture System (DSC) Help and Support page for details.
We produce Healthcare associated infections (HCAI) mandatory surveillance statistics publications in accordance with the code of practice for official statistics and they are designated as National Statistics. The data-specific documents below describe our compliance with aspects of the Code.