Citrobacter freundii is an aerobic Gram-negative bacillus. It is rod-shaped having a characteristic length of 1-5 Ám. Most bacteria have several flagella that help in locomotion; however, a few are non-motile. The bacteria are found in water, soil, sewage, food and intestinal tracts of humans and animals. Citrobacter freundii belong to the family Enterobacteriaceae.
C. freundii is an opportunistic microbe and is accountable for quite a few significant opportunistic infections. It is known to cause nosocomial infections of the urinary tract, respiratory tract, blood and other normally sterile sites in the body.
Citrobacter Freundii Infections Causes
The chief cause is a weak and attenuated immune system and functioning of the body. A frail immune system makes the body more vulnerable and predisposed to C. freundii, thus triggering UTI or intestinal infection or meningitis.
Hospitalized patients especially, those who have been hospitalized for a prolonged period of time, are more vulnerable to C. freundii infections.
Citrobacter Freundii Infections Symptoms
• Urinary tract infections is most commonly caused by C. freundii; manifestations include: burning while urinating, increased frequency of urination, nasty smelling urine, occasional blood in the urine, pain in the lower back and / or pelvis and fever.
• C. freundii is also known to cause abnormal inflammatory changes in the intestine, sometimes even resulting in necrotic changes.
• Citrobacter freundii is known to cause neonatal meningitis. The meninges or coverings of the brain get infected and inflamed due to the bacterial infiltration. C. freundii crosses the blood-brain barrier and wreaks havoc within the CNS. It can attack and duplicate in the brain as well. Frequently seen clinical signs and symptoms: high grade fever, projectile vomiting and seizures.
• Peritonitis and tunnel infection due to C. freundii have also been reported.
Citrobacter Freundii Infections Treatment
In general, all doctors prescribe anti-biotics to manage Citrobacter freundii infections. The doctor will make the diagnosis based on the symptoms of the case, the clinical presentation, X ray images and bacterial culture.
Citrobacter freundii infection is usually treated with anti-biotics such as fluoroquinolones, carbapenems and cephalosporins. The physician decides the treatment plan depending on the susceptibility of the microorganism to the various anti-biotics and the location of the infection and organ system affected. Then again, there is a growing anxiety about the resistance of Citrobacter. freundii to a host of anti-biotics. The health care provider will suggest supportive and symptomatic treatment to speed up cure.
By and large, the prognosis for C. freundii infections is moderate. Cases that have been neglected or not treated at all show particularly poor prognosis and almost always end in death. Citrobacter freundii bacteremia frequently occurs in elderly patients and in patients hospitalized for prolonged period of time. Outcome for C. freundii urinary tract infection is quite good; while the prognosis for peritonitis is rather moderate to poor. The mortality rate of Citrobacter freundii meningitis is exceedingly high, with the death rate ranging from 25 % to 50 %. What's more, severe neurological problems are known to continue in about 75 % of those who have survived the infection.