How can E. coli bacteria lead to meningitis?
- E. coli are the second most common bacterial cause of neonatal meningitis
- E. coli bacteria can be carried in healthy people and not cause any problems
- Women can carry the bacteria in their intestines and vagina. Babies who develop neonatal meningitis caused by these bacteria can develop early onset infection when exposed to the bacteria during delivery
- Although most strains of E. coli do not cause disease, serious infections may occur if the bacteria invade areas of the body in which they are not normally found, such as the urinary tract, blood stream or meninges (protective layers surrounding the brain)