It is important to note that the bacterium Enterococcus faecalis is a regular occupant in the intestines of humans. If present in other parts of the body, this bacterium can trigger serious infections. The heart, urinary tract, abdominal cavity, bloodstream and skin wounds are the usual sites of Enterococcus faecalis infections.
The symptoms linked with the infections that develop at these sites are the same regardless of the bacteria that causes the infection. In most cases, laboratory testing is required in order to determine if the bacterium is the exact cause of a particular infection.
Urinary frequency, pain and urgency
Always bear in mind that Enterococcus faecalis is considered as a frequent cause for urinary tract infections. Individuals who have been recently hospitalized, had a procedure involving the urinary tract or had a urinary bladder catheter in place face a higher risk for this type of Enterococcus faecalis infection.
The typical symptoms of urinary tract infection include urinary urgency, burning sensation while urination and urinary frequency. Aside from these symptoms, an individual suffering from upper urinary tract infection of the kidney can be accompanied by chills, fever and flank or back pain.
Abdominal pain with nausea and vomiting
The Enterococcus faecalis bacterium is also known to trigger infections of the abdominal cavity or peritonitis as well as abdominal abscesses. These types of infections typically occur among hospitalized individuals who have undergone abdominal surgery or medical procedures that involves the abdominal organs.
Individuals who have kidney or liver failure can develop spontaneous abdominal infections without any recent procedures or surgery. The indications of peritonitis and abdominal abscesses include intense abdominal pain along with fever, nausea and vomiting. Those who have an abdominal abscess might have a mass in the abdomen that can be palpated during a physical examination.
Episodic fever with night sweating and flu-like symptoms
Enterococcus faecalis can also cause infections involving the heart and the valves. This condition is commonly called as endocarditis. The symptoms of the condition typically develop in a gradual manner. The typical symptoms include the following:
- Episodic low-grade fever and chills
- Body aches
- Night sweats
If the condition is allowed to progress, it can cause damage to the heart valves and trigger symptoms of heart failure such as painless ankle inflammation and shortness of breath. This type of infection is known to occur among older men. In addition, those who have been hospitalized recently or diagnosed with cancer face a higher risk.
Wound swelling, redness and drainage
Take note that Enterococcus faecalis is capable of causing infections in surgical incisions, burns and ulcers especially among individuals who are hospitalized. The infected wounds appear red, tender and swollen. There is drainage of pus from the wound which indicates infection. An infected wound linked with the bacteria typically involves more than one type of bacteria in the infected tissues.