Enterococcus faecalis is a bacterium that is found in a person's genital and digestive tracts. Although it is not dangerous for healthy individuals, it can be problematic for people who are very young, old or ill. The issue that people face with enterococcus faecalis is that it cannot be controlled by most antibiotics, and can cause fatal infections for individuals with compromised immune systems.
Most individuals are exposed to enterococcus faecalis in hospitals. It is generally found on hospital doorknobs, equipment and bed rails. Any individuals who visit hospitals can be exposed to enterococcus faecalis, but hospital workers have a higher risk of becoming a carrier of this bacterium.
Once a person is exposed to enterococcus faecalis and becomes a carrier, she can easily transmit this bacterium to family and friends through inadvertent contact of bodily fluids. This bacterium will also make you more susceptible to both strep and staph infections.
In order to prevent enterococcus faecalis, it is essential for you to wash your hands regularly, especially before eating and after using the bathroom. If you are in a hospital, it is important to use paper towels or other devices to open bathroom doors after using the facilities.
According to MedicineNet.com, if you believe you have enterococcus faecalis, it is important to contact a doctor immediately. This is so the doctor can identify the type of strain you are carrying and begin determining a course of treatment for you. Testing for this bacterium includes: the catalase test, oxidase test and the phenol red broth.
Because most antibiotics can not control enterococcus faecalis in your body, laboratories will test all sorts of different antibiotics to determine which one will be the most effective against your infectious strain. If you have developed enterococcus faecalis because of a urinary catheter, the catheter can be removed and your infection will clear.