Enterobacter cloacae septicemia in a burn center: epidemiology and control of an outbreak

J Infect Dis. 1979 Feb;139(2):166-71. doi: 10.1093/infdis/139.2.166.


An outbreak of infections due to Enterobacter cloacae occurred in the burn center at the Medical College of Virginia (Richmond, Virginia) in 1976. Fifteen patients had bacteremia due to E. cloacae; 10 cases of bacteremia occurred during a six-week period in January and February. The development of bacteremia was significantly related to the extent of third-degree burn and to admission to the burn center in January and February but not to the presence of an intravenous cannula, underlying disease, or antimicrobial therapy. E. cloacae was spread by contaminated hands of personnel and by cross-contamination of hydrotherapy water. A shortage of staff appeared to be an important factor in the occurrence of the outbreak. Control measures included an increase in the number of personnel, instruction of personnel in proper aseptic technique, and adoption of a new hydrotherapy protocol.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Burns / complications*
  • Burns / therapy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Enterobacter / isolation & purification
  • Enterobacteriaceae Infections / complications*
  • Enterobacteriaceae Infections / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrotherapy / standards
  • Infant
  • Intensive Care Units / standards
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Middle Aged
  • Sepsis / complications*
  • Sepsis / epidemiology
  • Sulfadiazine / therapeutic use
  • Virginia


  • Sulfadiazine