A nationwide population-based study of Escherichia coli bloodstream infections: incidence, antimicrobial resistance and mortality

Sarah F. Feldman*, Elizabeth Temkin, Liat Wullfhart, Amir Nutman, Vered Schechner, Pnina Shitrit, Racheli Shvartz, Mitchell J. Schwaber, Antoine Andremont, Yehuda Carmeli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Escherichia coli is the leading cause of bloodstream infection (BSI). The incidence of E. coli BSI caused by antibiotic-resistant strains is increasing. We aimed to describe the nationwide incidence and resistance profile of E. coli BSI in Israel and its impact on mortality, to compare E. coli BSI mortality with all-cause mortality, and community-onset with hospital-onset E. coli BSIs. Methods: We used mandatory BSI surveillance reports submitted by all Israeli hospitals to the Ministry of Health and the national death registry. All E. coli BSIs from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 31 2019 in patients aged 18 and over were included. Results: A total of 11 113 E. coli BSIs occurred in 10 218 patients; 85% (9012/10 583) were community onset. Median age was 76 (IQR 65–85), and 57% (6304/11 113) of cases occurred in women. The annual incidence was 92.5 per 100 000 population. Antibiotic resistance was frequent and significantly more common in hospital-onset than in community-onset BSI; 65% (1021/1571) vs. 45% (4049/9012) were multidrug-resistant (MDR) (p < 0.001). The case fatality rate (CFR) was higher following hospital-onset BSI than community-onset: 23% (276/1214) vs. 12% (926/7620) at 14 days, 31% (378/1214) vs. 16% (1244/7620) at 30 days, and 55% (418/766) vs. 34% (1645/4903) at 1 year (p < 0.001 for all comparisons). The 1-year CFR was 47% (1258/2707) for MDR vs. 28% (928/3281) for non-MDR (p < 0.001). The annual mortality rate was 31.0 per 100 000 population, comprising 4.2% (31.0/734.8) of all causes of deaths. Discussion: E. coli BSI carries a high burden, with a large proportion of MDR isolates, which are associated with increased incidence and CFR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)879.e1-879.e7
JournalClinical Microbiology and Infection
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022


FundersFunder number
National Institute for Antibiotic Resistance and Infection Control
Ministry of Health, State of Israel


    • Antibacterial agents
    • Bacteraemia
    • Drug resistance
    • Epidemiology
    • Escherichia coli
    • Humans
    • Incidence
    • Mortality


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