Escherichia coli bacteraemia surveillance


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Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a bacterium that forms part of the normal gut flora that helps human digestion. Although most types of E. coli live harmlessly in your gut, some types can make you unwell.

When it gets into your blood stream, E. coli can cause a bacteraemia. This can be as a result of an infection such as:

  • urinary tract
  • surgery
  • inappropriate use of medical devices

Sometimes however, the source of the bacteraemia isn't known.

E. coli is currently the most common cause of bacteraemia in Scotland. As a result, the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorate (SGHSCD) requested an in-depth analysis of the epidemiology of E. coli bacteraemia.

We coordinate the national mandatory surveillance programme which collects data from all E. coli blood stream infections to provide local and national intelligence. This surveillance supports local and national improvement strategies to reduce these infections and improve the outcomes for those affected.

Data and surveillance

Quarterly epidemiological data commentaries

The commentaries contain quarterly epidemiological data by NHS board and nationally for Scotland jointly for:

  • Clostridioides difficile infection
  • Escherichia coli bacteraemia
  • Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia
  • surgical site infection

Read the latest commentary on quarterly epidemiological data in Scotland:

View all previous quarterly epidemiological reports

Surveillance protocol