ESBLs are enzymes that are produced by bacteria. The enzymes make the bacteria resistant to many kinds of antibiotics.

It is possible to carry these bacteria without being sick. This is called being colonized. A person who is colonized can still spread the infection to others. The bacteria that carry the enzymes can cause serious infections, such as those in the:

  • Intestines
  • Urinary tract
  • Respiratory tract

If not treated, the condition can be fatal.

The Intestines
The bacteria can travel to the intestines, causing a serious infection.
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This condition occurs when the body is infected with bacteria. These bacteria produce enzymes that make the infection resistant to many kinds of antibiotics. That is why it is so hard to treat.

These bacteria can be easily spread in close living areas, like hospitals. They are most often spread by:

  • Medical equipment
  • The hands of healthcare workers