Which is more likely to cause a UTI? E coli or P penneri?

My goal is to figure out if E coli or P penneri is more likely to cause a UTI in a middle age white woman with insulin dependent diabetes. She says that she takes her insulin regularly, but her serum glucose level is high and she has a UTI. Both E coli and P penneri were isolated from a urine sample. She also has a fever. Because she has high serum glucose, a fever, and a UTI I am thinking that things are more serious than just a localized UTI.

Both E coli and P penneri are culprits of UTI's which makes it harder to figure out which is really doing more damage. I am pretty sure that the UTI is associated with the high serum glucose and the fever.


Yes it is for a class : ) Thank you so much for your in depth answer!

1 Answer

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    If both E coli and P penneri were isolated, than either or both of them can cause the UTI. Why do you need to know which one was doing more damage? Personally, I feel like you should give her antibiotics to kill both to treat the UTI. If you are told to find out which does more damage for school assignment, I apologize for lack of knowledge for this matter.

    There is, however, something that I wanted to clarify.

    UTI (as you probably know) is caused by bacteria found in feces. Whether she didn't wipe it right or some other reason, bacteria from the feces can go to her vagina, causing urinary tract infection. Immunity will try to fight off the bacteria, so you will have fever. Fever is one of the sign that the patient has infection.

    If the patient does not have diabetes, the patient will not develop that high serum glucose level.

    Assuming the patient is telling you the truth and she did take her insulin regularly, people with diabetes can have high amount of serum glucose even if they are taking the insulin.

    this is how.

    A diabetic person has infection (in this case UTI). The body is trying to fight off the infection, so the body requires energy. Body releases cortisol, a stress hormone to fight off this "stress" on the body. Cortisol increases serum glucose level. In a normal person, glucose is regulated by insulin. If a person is diabetic, their typical amount of insulin is not enough, so you have high glucose.

    As a side note, if a diabetic person's serum glucose is high despite the fact that he/she is taking insulin, it is an indication that the person is having an infection.

    UTI can be treated by antibiotics as soon as possible. Not only it can be painful, prolong infection can cause kidney damage, which can cause more serious consequences. Also, the patient needs to be in higher dose of insulin to minimize the diabetic ketoacidosis, which can lead to coma and death.

    In my opinion, it is her diabetes that I am more concerned about more than which microbes are more responsible for UTI.

    Source(s): medical student
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