Surveys in Europe have shown that E coli bacteria are developing resistance to a range of antibiotics, potentially causing a scenario like that seen with community-acquired MRSA.
These strains of E coli produce extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBL), giving them antibiotic resistance.
Such strains of E coli commonly present as UTIs, but recent reports have shown that in a few cases, ESBL E coli can cause bloodstream infections, say the researchers who reviewed available data.
Worldwide spread of resistant E coli in hospitals and the community is needed, they add.
Lancet Infect Dis 2008; 8: 159-66