ESBL Organisms


Routine Practices
Routine Practices

General Information

Pathogen information

Gram negative organisms with enzymes that confer resistance to 3rd generation cephalosporins in addition to lower order beta-lactams.


Generally, normal GI flora that have a plasmid encoding ESBL.

Community-acquired and nosocomial infections occur, especially if patient has received antimicrobials or has travelled to areas of high prevalence (i.e. Asia/India).

Human-to-human transmission occurs and outbreaks have beed described.

Can also pick up from environment/water, surfaces, animals, and meat.

Associated syndromes

  • Asymptomatic colonization

  • Any syndrome caused by the organism carrying it (see specific organism for more information)

Additional Information

ESBLs vs. AmpC: Most ESBLs are plasmid-encoded, whereas AmpCs are usually inducible and chromosomal.

In the lab, ESBLs test susceptible to cefoxitin and cefotetan, and are inhibited by beta-lactamse inhibitors such as tazobactam.

They test resistant to aztreonam.

Some organizations may place ESBL into contact precautions.